Suing Dictators

Cross-posted at Harry’s Place.

As DaveM discusses hobnobbing by the Smurfs for Jihad in Viva Palestina with those responsible for multiple mass-killings of Palestinian Arabs, the LA Times carries a report touching on another massacre in the region.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner’s latest legal success on behalf of the victims of terrorism is for the families of the victims of the 1972 Lod Airport attack – mostly Puerto Rican Christian pilgrims – when Japanese Marxist gunmen opened fire. With reported fears of a Bombay-style ‘commando’ take-over of European city-centres by Islamists, my gut feeling is that any such attack would be more akin to this.

A court in the US has now ruled that North Korean agents were responsible for providing training and logistics for the gunmen. Darshan-Leitner had filed the suit the day before George W. Bush removed North Korea from a list foreign State supporters of terrorism, resulting in the now $378 millions judgment.

It is highly unlikely that North Korean authorities will willingly pay-up. With similar rulings in the past, their lawyers have not even attended hearings thus allowing them to pass unchallenged. Yet, it will permit plaintiffs such as Darshan-Leitner’s clients to demand the seizure of any North Korean assets held by companies or banks subject to US law.

Similar fears would go a long way to explaining the panicked behaviour of many individuals linked to the Burmese military junta who, as stated in an article carried by Daniel Pedersen in August, are squirreling away assets in what they hope are untraceable accounts and bonds.

Protection offered by the financial systems in Singapore or Macao could go only so far, as increasing calls for a UN-led war-crimes inquiry by the junta suggest; which, with this not being a regional conflict at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, might be level-headed and thorough.

These junta members appear to have reached the same conclusion as most observers: namely that the numerologically auspicious November General Elections promise to be a complete farce.

Not only has the 1990 General Election, in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy arguably was victorious, been annulled, but the NLD has been disbanded and Aung San Suu Kyi been stripped of her right to vote.

This week, the Supreme Court in Rangoon accepted papers from her to challenge the dissolution. Hopes for a positive outcome are, however, virtually nil in a country where everything is broken and all in hock to the junta.

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