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January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
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Darshan-Leitner Wins Prize for Fighting Terror in Court

Israeli activist lawyer Nitzana Darshan-Leitner: The US should make Iran pay off its debts to American relatives of terror victims.

Israeli activist lawyer Nitzana Darshan-Leitner: The US should make Iran pay off its debts to American relatives of terror victims.

In the case of the Bank of China, Darshan-Leitner said the bank refused to close down the account of a known Hamas terrorist who had an account at their bank, through which he received money from Syria, and transferred it to his brother, another Hamas terrorist. This despite the fact that senior Israeli government officials and banking leaders met with their counterparts in China, warning them that the Bank of China’s actions were providing support to terror activity.

In light of their refusal to close the account, Shurat HaDin filed a case in New York civil court against the bank, on behalf of the Wultz family and other Israeli terror victims.  “The Bank of China went crazy – it was right before the Olympic Games, they sent us warning letters, warning us not to talk about the lawsuit, they told us we are connecting their name to terror financing, we are destroying their reputation, we are ruining their name,” Darshan-Leitner said.  “They told us they would file a libel suit against us in China and will criminally prosecute us in China – that’s why none of us are going to China any day soon, but we kept up this lawsuit.”

Despite several motions filed by the Bank of China, the New York court allowed the case to go forward in New York, and it is in its beginning phases.

Though Shurat HaDin has a high level of success – having won over $1 billion in judgments, it will be difficult for plaintiffs to collect, due to refusal of parties such as the Syrian government to pay up.  So Shurat HaDin spends part of its time locating the assets of convicted parties internationally – especially in the United States – so they can be frozen and used to pay off the judgments.

When Darshan-Leitner is not in court or appearing on the BBC, CNN, Voice of Israel, and other media outlets, she is mother to six children, including a set of triplets.  In her Lion of Zion acceptance speech, Darshan-Leitner thanked her parents for their support and their role in caring for her children, so that they could have a normal life – and so that she could fight for the normal lives of others.

 

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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