Home | News    Wednesday 27 March 2019

U.S. Supreme Court blocks $315M USS Cole verdict against Sudan

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

March 26, 2019 (WASHINGTON) - The Supreme Court of the United States Tuesday overturned a federal court rule providing that Sudan was partly responsible for the attack on the USS Cole and prevented the families of the victims from collecting $314.7 million in damages from the Sudanese government.

The port side damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Cole is pictured after a bomb attack during a refueling operation in the port of Aden in this October 12, 2000 (Reuters file photo)In March 2007, a federal judge said that Sudan is responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole and the killing of 17 sailors when terrorists bombed the ship harboured in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000.

Al-Qaida could not have existed or planned its acts of terrorism, including the Cole bombing, without Sudan’s support, the lawsuit said in 2004. Further, it noted that in 1993, then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism because it had harboured bin Laden.

The plaintiffs, victims and their families, at the time, mailed the lawsuit to Sudan’s foreign minister at the Sudanese embassy in Washington. But the move created a controversy as the law requires that the complaint “be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the head of the ministry of foreign affairs of the foreign state concerned.”

The verdict of the justices was a response to the following question: where the notice of the complaint against Sudan should have been mailed to the embassy in Washington or to the foreign ministry in Khartoum.

In an 8-1 majority decision, the Supreme Court ruled against USS Cole victims and blocked the American sailors injured in the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole from claiming $314.7 million in damages from the Sudanese government.

In its 29-page ruling, the high court said federal law required a copy of the court case to be mailed to the Sudanese foreign minister in Khartoum, and not to the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

"The most natural reading of this language is that service must be mailed directly to the foreign minister’s office in the foreign state," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

Alito said the victims can attempt to serve the suit again, and if that doesn’t work, federal law says the complaint can be sent to the U.S. secretary of state, who would transmit it to the foreign country through diplomatic channels.

He stressed that despite the "exasperation" of those who sued, strict requirements for serving lawsuits must be followed.

However, Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, pointing out it was sufficient to send the suit to Sudanese embassy in Washington.

Sudan didn’t defend against the lawsuit and was hit with a default judgment. Khartoum started fighting in court only after the victims tried to collect the award by seizing money held in U.S. bank accounts.

KHARTOUM WELCOMES

While the justices decided to back Sudan against the victims of USS Cole due to a defect of procedure, the Sudanese foreign ministry in a statement released in Khartoum welcomed the ruling of the high court saying it represents an important step towards refuting allegations about Sudan’s links to terrorist operations.

"Foreign Minister El Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed attended the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on 7 November 2018 to prove that the communication was not delivered to the Foreign Minister as required by the international law," further said

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs "affirms that it will continue its efforts in cooperation with all concerned national and foreign authorities to remove all distortions, allegations and false accusations made on behalf of Sudan".

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The Perils of Managing Transition: Will Sudanese Kandakas be the option? 2019-05-21 04:45:56 By Luka Kuol, PhD Global Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo, Associate Professor at University of Juba and Fellow at Rift Valley Institute Since the eruption of the Sudanese popular (...)

Justices delay is justices denied 2019-05-21 04:40:18 By Wesley Kosa The Khartoum Peace Agreement was the result of the political manipulation by the governments of South Sudan, Uganda and Sudan. There were no extensive discussions and mediation (...)

The fear of political reforms in South Sudan 2019-05-19 02:16:35 By Duop Chak Wuol In his Easter message, President Salva Kiir called on the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), Dr Riek Machar, to go to Juba to form a (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.