US court rejects Arab Bank terrorist funding claims
Arab Bank on Thursday said a New York federal court has rejected some of the lawsuits filed against the financial institution that alleged it provided banking services to terrorist groups.
In July 2010, US District Court Judge Nina Gershon said in a ruling in Brooklyn, New York, that jurors may infer that the bank provided financial services to groups designated as terrorist organisations by the US and that it processed payments on behalf of a group called the Saudi Committee for the Support of Al Quds Intifada.
A few years ago, hundreds of Israelis filed lawsuits in a New York federal court against Arab Bank for allegedly holding accounts that financed attacks that killed members of their families.
At the time, Arab Bank said it will exercise all legal options to disprove such accusations, insisting that in compliance with the New York court’s orders in this litigation, it produced hundreds of thousands of documents and successfully sought waivers from bank secrecy laws in several countries where it operates.
In April 2010, Arab Bank filed a document with the US court that was provided by the Israeli military acknowledging that the bank has no links to terrorist activities, which it said was consistent with the bank’s stand that the “claims in the pending lawsuits have no merit”.
On February 25, 2004, Israeli troops, assisted by police and Shin Bet forces, raided the Arab Bank branch in Ramallah, seized 40 million Israeli shekels ($10.8 million) from a number of accounts, as well as bank records.
An unnamed source from the bank was quoted in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Thursday as expressing relief over Gershon’s decision to reject the accusations filed against the bank which, the informed source said, represented more than 90 per cent of the lawsuits.
The source also said the Amman-based bank, the largest privately owned financial organisation in the Arab world, was certain that the court will drop all charges against the bank and will prove that the rest of the case is concerned with regular financial and legal services.
Arab Bank was first established in Jerusalem in 1930. With a capital of over $30 billion, the bank operates through more than 500 branches in 30 countries across five continents.
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