Arab Bank demands retrial in terror financing case

The historic verdict was the first time in US history that a massive financial institution of Arab Bank's stature was held liable for such damages.

October 13, 2014 19:29
1 minute read.
Arab Bank logo

Arab Bank logo. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Arab Bank on Friday filed a motion for a retrial regarding a Brooklyn jury's September 23 finding that the bank was liable for wrongful damages for its serving as a conduit for terror financing used by Hamas in 24 attacks in Israel between 2001-2004.

The historic verdict was the first time in US history that a massive financial institution of Arab Bank's stature, with offices on five continents and a pretrial net worth of $46 billion, was held liable for such damages and the bank is expected to fight the verdict at every opportunity.

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The bank's retrial motion is focused on eight primary areas where it says that the US federal court in Brooklyn erred in applying the law, causing it prejudice before the jury and justifying a retrial.

A retrial is just a first step, as the bank can appeal even if a retrial is not granted.

Some arguments with broader implications which the bank is arguing could also bring in US Supreme Court and US government intervention on a later appeal.

These arguments include that the trial court applied a plaintiff-friendly causation standard (which the bank says the trial court uncritically adopted from the pretrial court) for how carefully the plaintiffs needed to connect the bank to each of the attacks, its broad interpretation of a pretrial evidence-sanctions order against the bank and its denying the bank from using foreign law, while allowing the plaintiffs to do so. 

Additional more technical arguments the bank is making for a retrial include that the trial court: simplified the elements of proof for the plaintiffs, allowed inflammatory evidence about Hamas against evidentiary hearsay rules, admitted into evidence a confidential bank settlement with the US government, excluded the bank's Saudi Committee experts and consolidated all 24 attacks into one trial.


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