$116 Trillion Lawsuit - Some Questions
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  1. #1
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    Question $116 Trillion Lawsuit - Some Questions

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Acknowledging the odds are against them, relatives of the September 11 attacks filed a 15-count, $116 trillion lawsuit Thursday against the company run by Osama bin Laden's family, Saudi Arabian princes and Sudan.
    Calling themselves Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, the plaintiffs are suing seven international banks; eight Islamic foundations, charities and their subsidiaries; individual terrorist financiers; the Saudi bin Laden Group; three Saudi princes; and the government of Sudan for allegedly bankrolling the terrorist al Qaeda network, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban
    CNN - $116 trillion lawsuit filed by 9/11 families

    I have some questions that I hope someone can clear up for me:
    a) If you could prove that these organisations were funding al Qaeda et al, shouldn't this be in a criminal court rather than a civil one?
    b) Does a court in America have any power to remove this sort of money from overseas entities?
    c) Do international courts have the power to remove this sort of money?

    I get the feeling that these questions are pointless, as this lawsuit has bugger-all chance of succeeding, but I thought I would ask anyway.

    Thanks in advance

    -toad

  2. #2
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    a) If you could prove that these organisations were funding al Qaeda et al, shouldn't this be in a criminal court rather than a civil one?

    It already has been criminal to a point. The families do have the legal recourse against the companies civily though. The burden of proof in civil court is less than that in a criminal court.

    b) Does a court in America have any power to remove this sort of money from overseas entities?

    No, not realy. Unless the international courts and the countries involved recognize it as such. But the US courts do have jurisdiction on some of the business's, individuals and banks based in the US. They have already seized monies and frozen accounts in the states. This is the money that the families are after. At least part of it. Also in other countries such as Britan, the courts are cooperating with the US courts to an extent.

    c) Do international courts have the power to remove this sort of money?

    It depends on if the countries recognizes the courts power. A country such as Lybia has been found guilty in international courts but nothing much has been done. About all they can do at that point is issue sanctions and hope that the UN or a coalition of countries will enforce it.

    Without getting into a long discussion. Because a lot more is involved. This is the jist of it. Go check out CNN online. It has an in depth report on the ins and outs of the legality and actions of the families.........
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    PowerToad5000
    American Criminal law can be described as the body of law which deals with conduct harmful to society as a whole that is prohibited by law, prosecuted and punished by the government.
    American Civil law can be described as the body of law that deals with business, contracts, domestic family relations, accidents, negligence and everything that is not related to criminal law. Tort is a common term heard in conjunction with civil law, which means a civil or wrongful act whether intentional or accidental from which injury happens to another. Most civil and or tort cases deal with cash.
    There is also a major difference between criminal and civil and how the evidence is weighed. In criminal case the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt" which means the evidence must make one clearly guilty and that anything that does not do that (ie cast reasonable doubt) should not be considered. In a civil case it is "preponderance of evidence" which means just the appearance of the evidence sways the judge and or jury in one direction. Beyond a reasonable doubt is by far a more difficult standard.
    As far as US courts having power over international companies they can do little other then appeal to the world court. What the US can do is shut down any avenues the companies use in regards to the US, assets or computer networks etc. I hope this helps!
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  4. #4
    This lawsuit, despite it's lack of basis, will go far. No judge will shoot this suit down for fear of commiting political suicide. There is an interesting parallel here to computer security issues:

    Remember that copyright bill that would allow american hackers to shut down sites distributing copyrighted material? And we all said "what if that site is set up in russia?"

    Well, once this lawsuit gets to court, and the people suing litigiously win, will we then ask american hackers to raid the foreign accounts of people that OUR system tries without any deterrence from THEIR legal systems?
    Hic ego barbarus, sum quillo non intelligor illis.
    Because they do not understand me, I am a barbarian.

  5. #5
    116$ Trillion?? Holy feck, do they even have that much money in this world? Im positive that everyone that they are suing has no where NEAR that amount of money.

    Also, the post is right.. The odd's ARE against them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    a) If you could prove that these organisations were funding al Qaeda et al, shouldn't this be in a criminal court rather than a civil one?
    Since only a governmental entity can prosecute a criminal action, that really isn't an option for civilians. There's no reason a criminal action can't be brought later if there is merit. Civil and criminal are not exclusive of each other.

    No judge will shoot this suit down for fear of commiting political suicide.
    Federal judges are appointed for life. They answer to no one and never have to stand for re-election. Due to the diversity (international) of the defendants, this case must be brought in federal district court. If the judge thinks a motion to dismiss is appropriate, s/he will grant it, you can be sure.
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    i am not sure that i agree with the idea of a lawsuit for this.... i know that people want there retribution... but i dunno... this whole idea that people are suing over it kind of bothers me.
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    Ordinarily, I am suspicious of lawsuits, but this may
    be a case where, for these families, the principle
    may be more impotrant than the money.

    They have very little chance of ever collecting any
    money, even if they win, because US courts can't
    seize the money.

    Remember, the US congress provided a great
    amount of money for them, but will only distribute
    it to people who renounce their right to sue.

    I think the government is trying to prevent embarassment
    for their friends in the Saudi royal family. A successful
    lawsuit, even if no money is obtained, could be a political
    tool to force the Bush administration to recognize the fact
    that Saudi Arabia is not an ally of the USA but a
    treacherous rogue state that provides enormous support
    for terrorism.
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    I'm sorry, but this is ludacris! $116 Trillion is a tremendous amount of money. I'd understand if they were suing for $116 Billion, but $116 Trillion.... It's an unfathomable amount of money. In addition to that, there is almost no way the people could collect that much money. This is a thing that could seriously start a war- I guess those 9/11 families didn't think about that. No country in their right mind would give $116 tillion.

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    Well I guess that covers my q's ... thanks very much for your help people

    -toad

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