NITSANA DARSHAN-LEITNER of Israel Law Center 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Israel Law Center)
Shurat Hadin head Nitsana Dershan-Leitner could be compelled by a US court to
testify that the government broke its promise regarding a terror financing case
against the Bank of China.
The Israeli-based civil rights organization
combats terrorism through courtroom litigation, aiming to bankrupt terrorist
groups by targeting funders.
Darshan-Leitner spoke to The Jerusalem Post
about the various scenarios which could occur in the aftermath of recent reports
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has prevented a key Israeli official from
testifying in the Bank of China case.
Darshan-Leitner said that while she
has “no intent to harm the State of Israel,” at the same time “you can’t put
families through five years of litigation where you made a promise and break
According to Darshan-Leitner, she was given no warning by the
government that the witness would not testify.
Rather, the Bank of China
told the court that it understood that the witness would not testify, leaving
Darshan-Leitner to rush and check-in with government officials who told her that
the issue is in dispute and has not been finally decided.
then met with several government officials to try to convince them to let the
A Justice Ministry official refused to confirm or deny
that the ministry was involved in these meetings.
She said, “Who let the
Bank of China off the hook? The prime minister made his reputation as an
anti-terror person, now the Bank of China might be let off the hook? The Bank of
China is responsible for the death of Jews.”
emphasized that the government’s promise to let the official testify – who
already submitted an affidavit in the case – was made to all 22 families they
represent and not just the one family which has been mentioned in recent media
If Israel makes a final decision to prevent the witness from
testifying, Darshan-Leitner said it was possible that the victims would start a
public campaign to get the government to change its mind.
Also, she could
be compelled to testify about her meetings with government officials, including
naming names and that the government had broken its promise.
happen if Darshan- Leitner tries to use the already filed affidavit because of
being unable to comply with the court’s order to have the witness deposed.