Terrorism lawsuit: $14m bond ordered

NEW YORK • In a widely watched terrorism lawsuit that drew the attention of the Obama administration, a US judge in Manhattan has ruled that the

Palestinian Authority would have to post US$10 million (S$14.2 million) and an additional US$1 million monthly to appeal against a huge damages award for its role in six terrorist attacks in Israel that killed and injured Americans.

The bond amount was much lower than what the lawyers for the victims had sought but matched the amount that lawyers for the Palestinian Authority said in court on Monday that the defendants could pay.

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration weighed in, expressing concern in a submission to the judge that requiring too high a bond could cause economic and political harm to the Palestinian Authority and the broader peace process.

The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation were in February found liable in the attacks, which occurred between 2002 and 2004. This came after a lengthy civil trial brought under an anti-terrorism law that provided for a tripling of the jury's damages award of US$218.5 million, for a total of US$655.5 million.

Defence lawyers said their clients would appeal, but argued that the authority could not afford the required bond, which they said was typically 111 per cent of the judgment.

Under the terms of the judge's ruling, the defendants must continue to make their monthly payments pending the duration of an appeal.

If the verdict is upheld on appeal, the defendants would owe the entire amount of the judgment.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline 'Terrorism lawsuit: $14m bond ordered'. Print Edition | Subscribe