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Sept 24, 2013

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Defending BNP Bank Business With Genocidal Sudan Regime Cleary Gottlieb Uses Junior Associate

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 24 – BNP Paribas bank has been sued for aiding and abetting genocide in Sudan.

On October 24 BNP's lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb including junior associate Katherine Lynch argued that the bank owed and owes no duty to the people in Sudan.

    District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York peppered Carmine D Boccuzzi and to a less degree Ms. Lynch with questions about their position, along them and plaintiffs' lawyers to both go over time. Her rule to promote younger lawyers is laudable but cannot drown out the cries of those burned alive in Darfur amid BNP's cynicism in Switzerland and yes, New York.

   As Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch has shown to regulators, BNP Paribas in the United States has a disparate lending record. But violating sanction to lend to the Khartoum regime accused of genocide is something else.

     Judge Nathan after 4:30 pm told the parties she will endeavor to rule on BNP's motion to dismiss as quickly as possible. The case is Kashef v. BNP, 16-cv-3228 (Nathan). 

Previously before Judge Nathan: Iranian banker Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, charged with money laundering and violating US sanctions including through a Venezuelan infrastructure project, wants his curfew extended to midnight and his GPS ankle bracelet removed.

The requests were made by Sadr's lawyer Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson after a scripted "Curcio hearing" on September 9 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison J. Nathan. While adding prior Steptoe clients Citibank, UBS and Commerzbank to Steptoe's script, Nathan found the Sadr knowingly waived all conflicts of interest.

  Then a surprise: Assistant US Attorney Michael K. Krouse acknowledged that yet to be turned over are e-mails from seven custodian other than Sadr, somehow lost in the cracks of the case. Judge Nathan gave Krouse a week to provide a status update, with full production to be completed in two weeks and a response by Steptoe a week after that. They will be seeking to exclude these e-mails.

  On the bracelet removal request, Judge Nathan said she saw no reason to do it. Weingarten replied that Pre-Trial favors it, and that he wants to meet with Sadr until midnight. The government's position will be known in a week and more from Steptoe if the government opposes either. It's good to have money, in essence. This is not how lower income defendants are often treated in the SDNY. The case is USA v. Nejad,  18-cr-00224 (Nathan). More on Patreon here.



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