Protesting court’s treatment of witnesses in terror finance trial, Arab Bank cuts witness list

By FRANK G. RUNYEON,
September 17, 2014 02:27

In protest of a New York federal court’s treatment of its witnesses, Arab Bank informed the court late Monday that it was slashing its original list of 21 witnesses to four or fewer – a move that could also pave the way for a decision in the landmark case in the coming days or week.

With four or fewer witnesses left to call, the bank rested its defense on Tuesday, with the bank and plaintiffs expected to deliver closing statements Thursday along with a final, crucial jury instruction.

The latest events could end just over four weeks of gripping proceedings against Arab Bank by 297 plaintiffs suing it for billions in damages relating to allegations of funding terrorism.

The plaintiffs allege that Arab Bank – practically Jordan’s sovereign bank and one of the largest in the Middle East, with branches in 30 countries – facilitated massive transfers of funds to Hamas leaders and institutions, as well as to the families of imprisoned Hamas members and suicide bombers, via Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah’s al-Shahid Foundation, mostly between 1998 and 2004 (though evidence has focused on 2001-2004).


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