Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube

More: InnerCityPro
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On 2001 Attacks Case US Sudan Deal Pompeo Distinguishes Attacks and Abraham Accords

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 30 – In ongoing lawsuit "In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001," originally filed in 2003, the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 continues to having proceedings made virtual, by phone. On August 5 a proceeding was held about Sudan in the case. Inner City Press covered it, below.

  The deal by the US Administration to drop Sudan from its State Sponsor of Terrorism list threw the Sudan part of the case into turmoil, for some.

 Now on December 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, "With the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act on December 28, the way is clear for victims of the 1998 East African Embassy bombings, the 2000 attack on USS Cole, and the 2008 murder of USAID employee John Granville, to receive long-awaited compensation for their immeasurable losses. The $335 million previously provided by Sudan and to be released to the United States from escrow is in addition to the compensation Sudan has already paid to some victims of the Cole attack as part of a private settlement.  Achieving compensation for these victims of terrorism has been a top priority of the Department. We are pleased to have been able to work with Congress on this legislation while also preserving the ability of 9/11 victims with pending claims against Sudan to continue to pursue those claims.... We commend the Sudanese people for their continued insistence on freedom, peace, and justice, and we congratulate Prime Minister Hamdok and the civilian-led Transitional Government for their courage in advancing both the aspirations of the people they serve and the cause of regional peace under the Abraham Accords." Inner City Press will continue to cover this case - and the US State Department.

Inner City Press on October 19 had asked, If the payment is made and Sudan is removed from the list in exchange for a payment to victims of the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombing attacks and a side-deal with the victims of the U.S.S. Cole bombing in Yemen, whither the 9/11 victims?

  While long time U.S. State Department diplomat Donald Booth is quoted alternately as being dismissive to and as referring the 9/11 Sudan claimants to JASTA instead of the carve-out from FSIA they have been using, the wild card would seem to Inner City Press to be a recognition of Israel by Sudan, in the wake of recognitions by the UAE and Bahrain and, some are saying, Morocco (Western Saharans, watch out). Watch this site.

Plaintiffs' lawyer says there have been default judgments against Sudan, and that they should remain even if the complaint is amended. Sudan previously said it would not participate in a Virginia case. Today, Sudan is represented by White & Case.

 Judge Netburn: Iran has remained in default and has never appeared in this case.  She asks of case law about sovereigns not being able to be held liable on a default basis.

 Lawyer named Sean Carter replies with cases about Syria and Iran, that amending for theory of legal liability or new facts is not presenting a new claim - so the defaults should stand. "The gravamen remains, Sudan's support of Al Qaeda."

 Suddenly the 9/11 case telephone hearing is broken up by loud and soaring music - hear comes the bass line. It is *not* Sudanese music.

 The parties have called back in and Judge Netburn is taking names. "Are you there, Sean Carter?" Silence. And no, it was not *his* music.

 Now lawyer is saying if Judge Netburn (or Daniels) rules for consolidated case against Sudan, it moots all the default judgments. Says "we will appear" and accept service through ECF.

 Now a second lawyer for Sudan says it objects to amendment: "Plaintiffs are bringing stale claims... As to purported new facts from 2018, they were not included in the O'Neill amendment. They are trying to circumvent the law."  Court reporter: Slow down!
 Judge Netburn recommends White and Case file appearance in each of the cases against Sudan... "so we can address all this in full motion practice." 

The pandemic is being used by the Saudi defendants, it emerged at a telephone conference with some 300 attendees on May 21. Inner City Press covered it.

   U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn initially had some technical issues with her computer, which she described as from the era computers were first invented. But then things got going.

lawyer is telling SDNY Mag Judge Netburn that some Saudi diplomats' immunity was revoked. Judge says it's not fair to ask State to review immunity given 20 years ago.

Next a defense lawyer described a case where a person associated with the Morocco mission to the UN was granted diplomatic immunity by the U.S. State Department in an email, he says that's enough.

 Turns out that a man named Awad who on 9/11 worked in "Islamic Affairs" at the Saudi mission has suddenly retired the day after he was listed as a witness.

Next Saudi Arabia said they can't make him testify, he's retired.

   It reached 1:26 pm and the 9/11 case hearing was still going, with the lawyer for Saudi Arabia saying his - or his client's? - integrity is being besmirched by allegations they "early retired" people on the plaintiffs' witness list.

 Judge Netburn said, I don't think the question is whether the witnesses are aligned with Kingdom or adverse to it.

 A plaintiffs' lawyer said, The case I cited says "or with adversary."

  Judge Netburn: I think we've exhausted questions about former officials. Let's take a break. And they did. Inner City Press will continue on the case.

As Inner City Press has reported, the SDNY has moved to video sentencings, and defense attorney laptop links to their clients in the MCC from the Attorneys Lounge of 500 Pearl Street.   

Of such criminal cases, Judge Netburn remarked, something called CourtConnect is being used. I'm inclined to use it, since I think the earliest we could get together would be mid June and quite possibly later. Next week Ramadan begins which would have delayed depositions anyway.

One of the plaintiffs' lawyers Steve Pounian said, The families are willing to have a delay because of this exception circumstance, in order to get the depositions they need, in person. There's language, demeanor...

      Another plaintiffs' lawyers, Sean Carter, said We have doubts about Saudi Arabia's allegations, that they have diplomatic immunity, that some people are senior officials.

     Pounian followed up: We took a deposition in March under the written question procedure. Now we're going to file a motion.

     Carter resumed, We were told last week the FBI is looking for some additional documents. I don't want to put Sarah Normand on the spot--

   Ms. Norman confirmed, The FBI is also slowed. We'd hoped to have all of the records, but because of tele-working, and the documents being on classified systems, that work has stopped during the pandemic.  

  Judge Netburn asked, Does the Kingdom want to be heard?    The Saudis' lawyer offered, We're willing to use CourtConnect. 

 Judge Netburn opined, The reviews are not great. 

  We'll see: there may be a video conference in May, presumptively public. Inner City Press notes that in this case, Docket Item 6122, Motion for Conference dated April 14, 2020, says "You do not have permission to view this document." The case is In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, 03-md-1570 (Daniels / Netburn).


Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.

Feedback: Editorial [at]
SDNY Press Room 480, front cubicle
500 Pearl Street, NY NY 10007 USA

Mail: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2020 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for