Supreme Court lets Arab Bank sanctions stand in terrorism suit

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s sanctions on the Arab Bank in a lawsuit brought by victims of Hamas terrorist acts.

The denial issued June 30 means the case, 10 years in the works, may finally proceed in a federal court in New York next month.

The Arab Bank sought relief from a federal judge’s 2010 ruling penalizing the bank for not turning over documents related to the case.

In that case, Judge Nina Gershon ruled that a judge could instruct jurors to infer from the refusal that the bank knew it was providing services to terrorists.

“I am satisfied that plaintiffs have shown the high likelihood that the withheld documents would show repeated transfers by the bank to terrorists, terrorist organizations or their fronts, or on their behalf,” Gershon wrote.

The bank claims that secrecy rules in the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Lebanon are keeping it from complying with the plaintiff’s discovery demands.

Bloomberg News reported last week that Donald Verrilli, the solicitor general, advised the Supreme Court not to review Gershon’s sanctions.

The lawsuit, covering 24 terrorist acts that killed 39 Americans and wounded another 102 between 1995 and 2004, was brought in 2004. It is known as Linde v. Arab Bank, named for Courtney Linde, whose husband, John, was killed by a roadside bomb in the Gaza Strip in 2004 while providing security for U.S. diplomats.

“Hopefully, we’ve cleared the last roadblock to a trial on the merits,” Gary Osen, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “Our clients have waited 10 years for this moment.” — jta