Courts rule banks must release Sudanese funds in USS Cole lawsuit

The USS Cole (DDG 67) (Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer) at sea one month before being attacked by a terrorist-suicide mission during the early morning hours of October 12th, 2000.

NEW YORK — A New York federal appeals court says banks holding frozen Sudanese accounts must release assets to satisfy a $314 million judgment stemming from injuries sustained by sailors in the USS Cole bombing.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. A decision written by Circuit Judge Denny Chin rejected arguments that Sudanese officials were not properly alerted to the plaintiffs’ claims and that the assets of Sudan should never have been allowed to satisfy the judgment.

Seventeen U.S. Navy sailors were killed in the October 12, 2000 attack on the USS Cole. At the time, the ship was docked in Yemen. Fifteen injured sailors and three spouses sued in 2010, blaming al-Qaida and Sudan.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered the default judgment.

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