Monarchy in trouble: What does JASTA mean for Saudi Arabia?
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2016-05-22 07:38:24

Monarchy in trouble: What does JASTA mean for Saudi Arabia?

Jasta

 

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia’s government for damages, setting up a potential showdown with the White House, which has threatened a veto. The Saudis, who deny responsibility for the 2001 attacks, strongly object to the bill. They had said they might sell up to $750 billion in U.S. securities and other American assets in retaliation if it became law. The “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” or JASTA, passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote. It must next be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing on the measure in the near future, a committee aide said. If it became law, JASTA would remove the sovereign immunity, preventing lawsuits against governments, for countries found to be involved in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. It would allow survivors of the attacks, and relatives of those killed in the attacks, to seek damages from other countries. The White House has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the bill, and President Obama went to Saudi Arabia in a fence-mending exercise in April, presumably conscious of the possibility of the Bill going through the US Senate. Such a change to international law would render the US as well as every other sovereign state vulnerable — liable — to court systems everywhere and there is no shortage of states that would seek to avail themselves of the opportunity to seek to prosecute the US. Given the level of international engagement that it has, this is a level of exposure that could be disastrous to international relations. Americans working abroad would immediately be vulnerable, as would the national of any state working out-of-country in a state that was litigiously engaged with their home country. At the heart of the matter are 28 pages of unreleased material in the official report into the 9/11 attacks. These 28 pages remain classified and some commentators speculate that they implicate low-level representatives of the Saudi government; this being the reason why the Bill was proposed in the US Senate. Other commentators equally speculate that the Bill has little chance of ever making it on to the legislation books, as it now will have to pass through Congress but the fact is that for the first time there is the possibility of a challenge to sovereign immunity — and it may not be the last.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

 

 

Categories:   World ،
Tags:   Saudia ، US ، White House ، 9/11 ، JASTA ،
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