(Reuters) – A US judge has dismissed a trial attempting to hold nine major European banks responsible for providing banking services to Iran that allowed military personnel to carry out 55 attacks on US armed forces in the neighboring Iraq.
In a decision On Thursday, the US district director Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan said the banks' alleged maladministration was too far away from the attacks, which occurred from 2003 to 2011, to support civilian liability under federal anti-terrorism laws.
The US Department of State has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984.
Barclays PLC, BNP Paribas SA, Commerzbank AG, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Standard Chartered PLC had been sued by military personnel who survived the attacks, and relatives and property of those killed.
The complainants accused the banks in a 533-sided complaint of concealing their work for Iran through such procedures as changing transfers and masking the identity of the transfer funds.
But the judge found the complaint "mere" of claims that the banks knew that they allowed attacks in Iraq linked to Hezbollah, al Qaeda and other groups designated by the US government as foreign terrorist organizations.
Judge Swain found no evidence, which was required by a decision of 201
. "The complaint is unlikely to claim that the provision of banking services, which are not inherently violent or dangerous, can be regarded as acts that are dangerous to human life," writes Judge Swain.
At a dismissal, the banks said that attacks on American soldiers, including during the Iraq war, were "abominable", but that they did not commit any of the eight in question and "did not support any terrorists".
A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not respond immediately on Friday to request comments.
The Iranian banker was also appointed as the defendant. It was declared in March last year because it did not respond to the complaint in November 2017.
The case is O & # 39; Sullivan et al. v. Deutsche Bank AG et al. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-08709.