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Federal judge dismisses Saudi Arabia as defendant in 9/11 litigation

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard Casey has dismissed Saudi Arabia, its defense minister and its ambassador to the UK as defendants in the litigation stemming from September 11th terrorist attacks, ruling that all have immunity from litigation. Judge Casey is considering pre-trial matters in eight consolidated cases brought by family members of those killed in the September 11th attacks, survivors and insurance carriers. The plaintiffs are suing over 200 defendants they say helped fund and support Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Casey also dismissed several other defendants, including several banks, saying there was no basis to hold the banks liable for injuries resulting from attacks funded by money passing through the institutions on regular banking business. Casey will allow a claim to proceed against the Saudi Binladen Group [corporate website], the successor to a construction company founded by bin Laden's father, because additional discovery is necessary to determine whether the company "purposefully directed its activities at the United States." Read the District Court ruling [text, PDF] and additional court rulings in the litigation from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. AP has more.

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