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EU court overturns asset freeze orders against terror watch list parties

[JURIST] The European Court of First Instance [official website] Wednesday overturned [judgment] the European Union's freezing of assets [Council Decision 2006/379/EC text, PDF] against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman Jose Maria Sison [MIPT profile] and the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa Foundation [Wikipedia backgrounder; judgment], finding that the Council did not give its reasons or provide an opportunity for plaintiffs to challenge the legal basis or evidence used to justify the seizure.

Sison, who currently resides in the Netherlands as a political refugee, was placed on the EU terror watch list in October of 2002. The al-Aqsa Foundation, which was placed on the list in June 2003, has been designated by the US as financier of terror [press release]. Last December, the same court annulled a freeze on an Iranian terrorist group [JURIST report] on the grounds that the decision to freeze the groups assets was made without giving the group a fair hearing and was reached without a "sufficient statement of reason." EUobserver has more.

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