Some 85 families of Americans victims of the war in Iraq, on Monday 10 November filed an appeal to a Brooklyn federal court accusing five European banks for funding terrorism and thereby contributed to more than 50 attacks recorded between 2003 and 2011.
The British HSBC, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays and Credit Suisse in Switzerland are suspected of conspiring with Iran and Iranian banks to enable them to circumvent US embargoes.
Through these banks, billions of dollars have been illegally transferred across the United States, allowing the Iranian regime to fund up to $150 million “Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations,” who planned, supported and facilitated attacks against American soldiers and civilians in Iraq, denounced the law Osen lawyers, who organizes these proceedings.
These lawsuits are based on the agreements signed in recent years between the US authorities and the banks, in which the latter admitted, one after the other, to have circumvented the US embargoes, including Iran.
The Jordan bank Arab Bank found liable civilly
In 2009, Credit Suisse was pinned, followed in 2010 by Barclays and Dutch ABN Amro (acquired by RBS). In August 2012 it was the turn of Standard Chartered.
In November 2012, finally, the US Treasury had sanctioned HSBC for having, as said in a statement, “covered ten transactions totaling approximately $21 million in apparent violation of sanctions against Burma, Iran and Zimbabwe. One of these transactions involved the transfer of 32,000 ounces of gold for the ultimate benefit of the Central Bank of Iran.”
The law firm Osen is a company that specializes in these cases related to terrorism. In September, in a similar case supported by the firm, a jury in Brooklyn said that one of the main banks of Jordan, Arab Bank, was accountable for its support for Hamas.
“This is the first time that a financial institution is deemed civilly responsible for aiding terrorism,” says the firm on its website. The trial should continue, including its component damages and interest, but the bank is seeking to appeal.
Olsen has also filed suit in 2013 against the former Credit Lyonnais on behalf of thirty families of victims of attacks by Hamas.
Arab Bank convicted of funding terrorism
On Monday, September 22, a New York court convicted Arab Bank after establishing that the bank provided material support to several organizations officially classified as terrorists by the United States, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The prestigious multinational bank headquartered in Jordan appeared since mid-August in federal court in Brooklyn (New York), following a complaint by some 300 Americans, victims or beneficiaries of victims of some twenty bombings between 2001 and 2004 Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Judgment, unpublished, continued during six weeks of hearings. The defense lawyers argued that it was the first terrorist financing case to be auditioned in the context of civil proceedings in the United States.
The plaintiffs demanded a billion dollars in compensation, said one of their lawyers. Arab Bank is accused of having paid money to families of suicide bombers on behalf of the non-governmental Saudi Committee.
The establishment has not refuted these allegations. But it objected that the beneficiaries did not appear on any terrorist list and that nothing could prove that these funds were used to finance attacks.
Arab Bank estimated that the trial was a “travesty of justice” in a statement after the verdict: “In such circumstances, the judgment today that recognizes the guilt of the bank when it had provided that legitimate financial services and routine is not a surprise.”
Bank’s lawyers present at the reading of the judgment indicated that they would explore the possibility of appeal.