Obama Administration Supports Saudi Immunity in 9/11 Lawsuit
Posted: June 01, 2009
9:07 pm Eastern
, ©, 2009, WorldNetDaily
Brief seeking to deny Americans access to court remedies for attack
The Obama administration has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Saudi Arabia and four of its princes from being held accountable for their alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States that killed almost 3,000 Americans, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Through its solicitor general, Elena Kagan, the Obama administration has asked that the Saudis be held immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA, even though there is ample U.S. evidence of complicity by the Saudi government and the named princes in support of al-Qaida’s attack.
While the FSIA generally protects a sovereign state, there are exceptions under which its provisions can be invoked. Such interpretations are left largely to the courts to determine.
Families of the 9/11 victims, however, have expressed outrage over the Obama administration’s filing. They regard the action as undermining the continuing fight against terror.
In its recent friend-of-the-court brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in “Federal Insurance Co. vs. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Obama administration asked the court to deny a petition for a “writ of certiorari,” or higher court hearing, by the families of the victims of 9/11 in their effort to sue Saudi Arabia and its princes.
In the original case filed in 2006, the families of the 9/11 victims allege Saudi Arabia and four Saudi princes acting in their capacity as high-level government officials and as individuals made donations to charitable organizations with the knowledge that the charities were diverting funds to al-Qaida. In response, the Saudi government invoked the FSIA as a basis to preclude a lawsuit by the 9/11 victims’ families.
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In August 2008, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2006 ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Casey in dismissing the claim against Saudi Arabia. The dismissal covered the four princes, a Saudi banker and a Saudi charity. In addition, the appeals court said that the exceptions to immunity didn’t apply since the State Department had not designated Saudi Arabia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
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