Tuesday, March 13, 2007

USS Cole Lawsuit Trial to Start in Virginia

I hope they win...

From
The Las Vegas Sun:

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - More than six years after terrorists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen, the families of the 17 sailors killed in the blast are heading to court to try to prove the attack could not have happened without Sudan's help.

The families' lawsuit against Sudan's government was to go to trial Tuesday in U.S. District in Norfolk, where the Navy destroyer is based.

"Sudan's material support ... including continuous flow of funding, money, weapons, logistical support, diplomatic passports and religious blessing, was crucial in enabling the attack on the USS Cole," lawyers for the families said in court papers outlining their case.

The United States has listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.

The families' lawyers intend to prove that Sudan has given safe haven to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network since 1991 - long before Yemeni operatives blasted a 40-foot-hole in the side of the Cole in Yemen's Aden harbor on Oct. 12, 2000.

They also hope to show that the operatives were trained at camps Sudan permitted al-Qaida to operate within its borders; Sudan's military provided al-Qaida with at least four crates of weapons and explosives for use in terrorist activities in Yemen; bin Laden and Sudan's government owned businesses that provided cover for the procurement of explosives, weapons and chemicals; and that Sudan gave al-Qaida diplomatic pouches to ship explosives and weapons internationally without being searched.

The plaintiffs contend Sudan's embassy in New York gave logistical assistance to the bombers of the World Trade Center in 1993, but court documents included no details of the allegation.

Andrew C. Hall, an attorney for the families, said he expects the trial to last two to three days, with testimony by six family members and one or two experts. Lawyers also will give the judge depositions by about 50 people, including other family members and R. James Woolsey, former CIA director under President Clinton.

The families seek $105 million in damages to be shared by 59 spouses, parents and children of the bombing victims.

Good for them, the country deserves to pay the families of those lost in the attack on the Cole. Heck, it will leave them with that much less money to give to terrorists and may actually make them re-think even letting terrorist exist in their country.