Monday, January 14, 2013

US Judge Allows Destruction Of Document Tying Palestinian Authority To Murder Of 2 Americans

On Feb. 16, 2002, a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up in a packed pizzeria in the Israeli town of Karnei Shomron, killing American citizens Keren Shatsky, 15, and Rachel Thaler, 16 and Israeli teenager Nehemia Amar, 15.

Shurat HaDin has posted on its website that a US Federal Judge Orders Destruction of Secret Memo that Evidences Palestinian Authority Role in 2002 Terrorist Murder of Three Jewish Teens:
A US court has ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has the right to cover up a document linking it to a 2002 suicide bombing that killed two Americans and one Israeli teenager. The suicide bombing was perpetrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a constituent faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The secret memo was mistakenly given to lawyers representing the teens' parents as plaintiffs in a $300 million lawsuit against the PA and PLO. The case is being tried in a Washington, DC federal court, with plaintiffs represented by New York attorneys David Schoen and Robert Tolchin and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv's Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center. The families contend that they have evidence that the PA provides funding to the PLO and PFLP, including paying the rent for the designated terrorist group's offices in the West Bank.

According to media reports, the memo reveals a close relationship between the bomber and a PA security officer who planned the suicide attack. The document, written by Major Ziad Abu Hamid of the PA's intelligence service, additionally supports the plaintiffs' allegations that the PA provided material support and resources for the PFLP bombing which took the lives of the three teens and seriously injured numerous others.
Considering the fact that the Abbas regime uses the funds it receives from the US to pay salaries to Palestinians in Israeli prisons, it is not surprising that Abbas and the PA would pay the rent for terrorist offices as well.

On the other hand, that a US judge would order the destruction of evidence received -- without coercion -- from the defendants is surprising, and disappointing.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin made a statement
We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will understand the importance of this document and will reverse the ruling and not allow the memo to be destroyed. It is hard proof of the defendants' role in this heinous suicide bombing that took the lives of three young teenagers. We are insisting that the truth be allowed to come out and the details of the Palestinian Authority's role in this murderous terrorist attack be presented to an American jury.
Meanwhile, the families of those murdered have written to the Department of Justice, as well as to the FBI and a number of congressmen -- asking that they intervene.

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Bill said...

I'm curious as to the basis for this ruling but haven't yet found an explanation or a link to the decision. I have heard of cases in which lawyers mistakenly turned over "work product", that is, documents that they themselves wrote, or communications with their clients which are indeed privileged. This document, however, appears to be an internal PA document and not privileged, a document that in fact the plaintiffs have a right to see.

Daled Amos said...

A lawyer emailed me:

"A PA document is privileged if created in response to a request by their lawyer, which is what happened here. "