26 July 2007

US court orders Sudan to pay Cole victim families

A US federal court in Virginia has found Sudan guilty of involvement with the bombing of USS Cole by al-Qaeda in 2000, and has ordered the Sudanese government to pay US $8 million (Canadian $8.4 million) in compensation to the families of 17 US Marines who died in the attack.

According to Judge Robert Doumar, who presided over the trial, "It is depressing to realise that a country organised on a religious basis with religious rule of law could and would execute its power for purposes which most countries would find intolerable and loathsome."

The ruling was based on the Death on the High Seas Act. The families can collect the sum from Sudanese assets frozen in the US.

Sudan denies any ties with al-Qaeda, and the US government seems to agree (BBC).

I wonder if Doumar took the US government's position into account in making his judgement.

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