Saturday, February 28, 2015

Did Israel Put Money Over Justice? -

Yekutiel Wultz, kissing his son's coffin in 2006
Daniel Wultz was murdered and his father injured by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv in 2006.  In 2012 the family obtained a $32 million wrongful death and personal injury default judgment  against the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The U.S. District Court in Washington,D.C. also entered a $300 million punitive damages judgment.
The family also  sued the Bank of China, a state owned stock company, for aiding and abetting an"act of international terrorism".  The Bank, they said, aided terrorism by processing millions of dollars through an account in Guangzhou through which the militia Palestine Islamic Jihad obtained Iranian money. 

District Judge Shira Scheindlin  ruled in November 2012 that China's tort law might permit the action.  (I was retained by Boies Schiller as an expert on China's tort law for plaintiff Yekutiel Wultz and family). But not long after that the judge dismissed as time barred the tort claims based on China's tort law.

Only the federal Anti Terrorism Act claims survived.  A fierce discovery battle has ensued - with the Bank protected by banking laws which guarantee confidentiality of depositors funds - and more importantly the confidentiality of law enforcement measures to prevent and punish money-laundering.  Although Suspicious Activity Reports have been protected, other factual matters have been explored.
But the State of Israel is still putting up a fight to prevent Uzi Shaya - a former intelligence officer who traveled to China for Israel- from testifying - even voluntarily - about her experience after she left government.

Sunday's  column by Roger Cohen in the Times takes up the fight. - gwc
Did Israel Put Money Over Justice? -
by Roger Cohen

ON April 17, 2006, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people near the old Tel Aviv bus station. Among the victims was Daniel Wultz, a bright and determined 16-year-old from Florida who fought for his life for 27 days before succumbing to severe injuries. His father, Yekutiel, who was wounded in the attack, watched the terrorist detonate himself. “I decided to do anything and everything I could,” he told me, “never again to have feel that helpless.

But almost nine years later, immense frustration has accumulated in Yekutiel Wultz, an Israeli citizen living in the United States, and his American wife, Sheryl Cantor Wultz (a cousin of Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader) over Israel’s actions since the death of their son and specifically over what they see as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s abandonment of his cause.

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