Jordan's Central Bank Supports Arab Bank

Jordan's central bank says it still supports the Arab Bank, found liable in a U.S. court of supporting Hamas.

Ben Ariel ,

Money (illustrative)
Money (illustrative)
Flash 90

Jordan's central bank said Tuesday it still supports the Jordan-based Arab Bank, which was found liable in a U.S. court of supporting Hamas a day earlier.

AFP reported that the Jordanian bank said Arab Bank had been unable to defend itself adequately.

A New York jury found the multinational lender liable on Monday on 24 counts of supporting terrorism by transferring funds to Hamas, blacklisted by Washington as terrorists.

A lawsuit was filed in 2004 on behalf of 300 American relatives and the victims of 24 attacks carried out in Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.

The Jordanian central bank said it had been offering its "support and assistance" throughout the case, stemming from the "government's confidence in the Arab Bank's banking operations and compliance procedures."

Arab Bank, which has assets worth $46.4 billion (36 billion euros), has said it will appeal, citing "scores of errors" in the trial.

"In addition to the deeply flawed sanctions, the court gagged the bank by excluding many of its witnesses, severely restricting the ability of other witnesses to testify and precluding all evidence of its innocent state of mind," the bank said after the verdict.

That was echoed by the Jordanian central bank, which said the lender's "ability to defend itself was prejudiced" by the sanctions order, leading to an "unjust and legally unsound verdict".

Noting that it had not found any risks to Arab Bank's financial health, it said it "remains confident" about the strength of its operations and compliance procedures and its ability to withstand the likely repercussions of the litigation.

Arab Bank went on trial in New York on August 14. The families of several Americans killed in attacks in the early 2000s allege the bank violated the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act when it served as a conduit for money from a Saudi Arabian fund to the Palestinian Arab families.



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