Claims of Sept.11 tragedy victims declared illegal
The reaction of Saudi lawyers to the claim by relatives of the people killed in the Sept. 11 tragedy was quite predictable; they declared the claim illegal and groundless.
The Arab Times newspaper, as quoted by RIA Novosti, published statements of prominent Saudi lawyers who said that the claims entered by relatives of the Sept. 11 victims from six countries to the sum of $1 trillion are based not upon investigations and court conclusions, but on publications in the American media (we should also add publications not only in the USA).
It is also stated that an action can be filed only against those who are convicted in court. The lawyers also say that these claims are valid only on the US territory, and not in Saudi Arabia. They are said to be designed to dirty the international reputation of the kingdom.
The Arab Times article appeals to all Arab nations to join against a new threat coming from the West. On the whole, there is nothing else to expect: although the Arab Times is published in the USA, it is financed by the Saudi government, which is why the article is believed to be the official reaction of Er Riyadh to the claims submitted by relatives of the Sept. 11 victims.
It is very likely that Arab banks and Islamic charity foundations will try to transfer their assets from the USA to other countries. If they do, any compensations are unlikely to be paid, even if the claims of the relatives are accepted. However, on the other hand, Arab bankers and princes will not be able to invest in the American economy, which used to be rather profitable for them for the past several years.
It is rather strange that Washington still hesitates concerning the support of the claims entered by relatives of the Sept. 11 victims. It is quite natural that Washington does not wish to interfere with the court’s competence; on the other hand, it would not fall out with Saudi Arabia, especially when preparation for another anti-Hussein offensive is underway.
In any case, Americans and people from other countries who entered the claim in the Alexandria court have touched a great number of problems concerning relations between the USA and Saudi Arabia, not only political but also economic as well. Time will tell how the White House will react to these problems. The urgent problem now whether Saudi Arabia will remain the USA’s ally or Washington will find another instead.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/08/19/45873.html