17 Feb 2021
BNP Paribas will have to defend itself against a U.S. lawsuit claiming the bank facilitated human rights abuses in the Sudan, after a New York federal judge rejected parts of its request to dismiss the case.
The suit claims BNP’s decision to continue serving as Sudan’s banker in the 1990s and 2000s in the face of global condemnation enabled the then-regime to remain in place, during which civil war and ethnic cleansing campaigns lead to the abuse and death of hundreds of thousands of people. BNP pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions policy on Sudan, Iran and Cuba in 2014.
Judge Alison Nathan of U.S. District Court in Manhattan allowed the putative class action on behalf of regime victims to proceed with claims for battery, assault, false arrest and imprisonment and wrongful death. She dismissed others alleging negligence and emotional distress.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment on Nathan’s ruling.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2016, and the judge previously granted the bank’s request to dismiss the case. But the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision and reinstated the lawsuit.
By Christian Berthelsen, Bloomberg, 16 February 2021
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