Jordan bank asks high court to halt sanctions

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Jordan's Arab Bank on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a group of lawsuits brought against it by terror victims and overturn sanctions imposed by a federal judge in Brooklyn.

The bank has denied claims it provided financial assistance to terror groups, but it refused to turn over some records to the plaintiffs based on foreign bank privacy laws. As a sanction, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon said jurors will be allowed to infer that it intended to further terrorist activity.

The bank said the ruling, which also limits its ability to dispute that it had a culpable state of mind, would hamstring its ability to defend the lawsuits, and violates "international comity." A federal appeals court previously refused to intervene until after trial.

Hundreds of victims of attacks -- including some from Long Island -- have sued the bank under a law that allows Americans to recover from those who aid in acts of international terrorism. Gershon has said she hopes some of the cases will be ready for trial in the fall.

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