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Sunday, September 14, 2014

PA finance minister paid thousands to designated terrorist while working at Arab Bank

Under cross-examination in the Arab Bank terror financing trial in New York, 'Palestinian Authority Finance Minister' Shukri Bishara, the former chief executive officer of the Arab Bank, has admitted that he knowingly paid thousands of dollars to designated Hamas terrorist Osama Hamdan while employed by the bank.
Under cross examination by counsel for the plaintiffs Mark Werbner, Bishara’s tone changed from gregarious to acrimonious. A heated exchange took place when Werbner asserted that Bishara had released funds from a bank account belonging to senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan.

“You gave this terrorist $8,000, the man who moves weapons and explosives,” Werbner stated. “You had no other choice than to give this terrorist $8,000?” “My concern was to get rid of the account,” Bishara explained, having admitted he knew Hamdan was on the US terrorist blacklist at the time. “There was simply no way” to close the account without a court order or Hamdan being designated a terrorist by Lebanon, he said.

Defense lawyers say the so-called “Beirut account” was first brought to the bank’s attention in 2004 by this lawsuit. After waiting five or six months to find another solution, Bishara said, the Arab Bank ultimately cut a check to Hamdan and closed the account.

This fund transfer has burdened the bank’s main defense, which was that most transfers were made to those who were not on any US watch list at the time.
Of course there was 'another solution.' They could have gotten the court order. Or they could have held the money.

Here's hoping that Arab Bank is barred from using the US banking system. Other countries' banks have been threatened for far less harmful actions.

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