Judge says Saudi Arabia liable to pay 9/11 victims claims

New York City Firemen pauses at the edge of the reflecting pool at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum during ceremonies marking the 16th anniversary of the attacks in New York

Judge says Saudi Arabia liable to pay 9/11 victims claims

At a Saudi stock market event in NY, asked whether the court decision would have a negative impact on Saudi investment in the United States, Capital Market Authority Chairman Mohammed A. ElKuwaiz declined to comment, saying he had not seen the news.

A United States judge has ruled against Saudi Arabia's bid to dismiss lawsuits, asserting the Kingdom must pay billions of dollars in damages as it helped plan the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"We're delighted that Judge Daniels denied Saudi Arabia's motion to dismiss", James Kreindler, a lawyer for numerous plaintiffs, said in a phone interview.

But U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan ruled that the lawsuit may proceed, citing the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which Congress passed by overruling a veto by President Barack Obama, who opposed the law because of the possibility U.S. troops and other government entities could be exposed to lawsuits in other nations.

A collection of more than 800 people who were hurt in the attacks or had loved ones killed filed the lawsuit roughly a year ago.

In 2003, hundreds of survivors, victims' relatives and corporations sued Saudi Arabia, claiming they assisted the hijackers who crashed into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. It also claims that charities controlled by the Saudi authorities enabled Al-Qaeda to perpetrate the attacks "through financial and operational support".

The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the attacks, in which hijacked airplanes crashed into New York's World Trade Center, a Pennsylvania field and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. causing the deaths of almost 3,000 people.

Saudi Arabia had long had broad immunity from September 11 lawsuits in the United States.

Obama had warned that the law could expose USA companies, troops and officials to lawsuits in other countries.

"According to Plaintiffs, Thumairy was responsible for orchestrating the USA -based support network for two of the 9/ll hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, upon their arrival in the United States in January 2000, at the direction of an unnamed senior Saudi official based in the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C.", the ruling stated.

In addition, Daniels said the plaintiffs may obtain discovery evidence regarding allegations that two Saudi government agents in California provided assistance to several of the hijackers.

Cynthia Nixon tours NYCHA building in Brooklyn
'No Man's Sky' coming to Xbox One alongside a major new update