Jordanian lender Arab Bank Group said it had begun legal steps to appeal a US jury ruling which found it liable for financing Islamic militant group Hamas.
The US civil lawsuit brought against the Jordan-based bank has been described by lawyers as the first of its kind to reach trial. Jurors last month found it was liable for giving material support to Hamas and said it must compensate victims of two dozen attacks attributed to the group in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Chairman Sabih Masrii said the bank was preparing an appeal against the verdict that it described as unjust and exposed not just the bank but others to “enormous liability” for providing routine services.
“We have started the preliminary actions for the submission of the appeal which is expected to take over a year. The bank has taken the appropriate measures to deal with the situation,” Masri said in a statement announcing the bank’s nine month results.
Similar lawsuits are pending in New York against Bank of China Ltd, which is accused of providing services to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Credit Lyonnais SA, which is accused of aiding Hamas. Those banks have denied the allegations.