Court says EU wrongly froze assets of Saudi man

Updated 12 August 2013
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Court says EU wrongly froze assets of Saudi man

PARIS: The European Union’s top court ruled Thursday that EU authorities unfairly froze assets of a Saudi businessman who was accused of financing Al-Qaeda, by failing to explain why he was targeted.
The European Court of Justice upheld a lower European court ruling in the case of Yassin Al-Qadi, rejecting an appeal by EU and British authorities.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, Al-Qadi’s charitable Muwafaq foundation was identified by the US Treasury Department as an Al-Qaeda front and placed on a terror list in October 2001. The United States, the EU, Switzerland and Turkey all took action against Kadi, following a UN anti-terror order obliging UN member states to freeze assets of people and entities suspected of funding terror groups.
Al-Qadi denied financing terrorism, and said his foundation closed before the Sept. 11 attacks. He has fought legal battles for years against the asset freezes, and was removed last year from the UN blacklist of people under sanctions for suspected Al-Qaeda funding.
In 2008, the European General Court ruled that putting Al-Qadi’s name on the terrorist list infringed some of his rights under EU law, such as his right to defense and judicial protection.
EU and British authorities appealed that ruling.
In Thursday’s announcement, the European Court of Justice sided with the lower court, and argued that suspects need to be informed of why they are being listed and have a chance to contest it.
“The Court holds that, since no information or evidence has been produced to substantiate the allegations, roundly refuted by Mr. Al-Qadi, of his being involved in activities linked to international terrorism, those allegations are not such as to justify the adoption, at European Union level, of restrictive measures against him,” the court said in a statement.
Authorities, however, sometimes want to keep information about a terrorist suspect confidential for security reasons. The court said that in such cases, it is up to EU courts to assess whether and when it’s appropriate to withhold that information from the suspect.


Man injures four people, shot dead after Marseille knife attack

Updated 3 min 18 sec ago
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Man injures four people, shot dead after Marseille knife attack

MARSEILLE: A man wounded up to four pedestrians in a knife attack in the southern French city of Marseille on Tuesday, before being shot and wounded by police, officials said.

The attack occurred in the center of the port city, the second largest in France.

Police said they shot the assailant when he threatened them with a weapon. He was in a critical condition.

Developing story.