Bloomberg June 17, 2011, 4:45 PM EDT
By Patricia Hurtado and Chris Dolmetsch
U.S. prosecutors in New York, the first to identify and charge Osama bin Laden three years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, were granted their request to dismiss the case against him, more than a month after he was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in New York today ordered that the entire case be voided against bin Laden, a Saudi who was killed May 1 at his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs during a 40-minute raid.
Bin Laden was first charged secretly by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan in June 1998 for allegedly organizing a global conspiracy to attack U.S. facilities and citizens.
After the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were hit by near-simultaneous bombings on Aug. 7, 1998, the U.S. filed an updated indictment against him in November 1998, charging him with directing those attacks and with the murders of 224 people, including 12 U.S. citizens.
The indictment was first filed by prosecutors working for then-U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who had established the nation’s first terrorist prosecution unit after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six people and injured more than 1,000
However, one year ago, on June 19, 2010, according to Jurist.org, a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) dismissed 49 terrorism lawsuits, including five cases against relatives of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, citing lack of evidence. Judge George Daniels dismissed claims against four half-brothers and a nephew of bin Laden, holding that the prosecution lacked evidence to support the relatives’ involvement in al Qaeda operations surrounding the 9/11 attacks. The claims were brought seven years ago by the families of victims who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.
What happens when a defendant in a lawsuit dies?
Answer: according to answers .com
“When any party to a lawsuit dies, the estate of the deceased party is substituted for the person. The estate executor or administrator then becomes the party in interest to handle the lawsuit. In most states, the executor/administrator will handle the lawsuit without having to consult with the ultimate beneficiaries before taking any action, such as settling. In practice though it is wise to get some feeling from the beneficiaries, since they might make some objections about a settlement and try to hold the executor/administrator liable for making a bad settlement. But once the executor/administrator does sign on the settlement, the beneficiaries cannot re-open the case just because they dislike the result.”
While it is said that it is standard procedure to dismiss the case of the deceased, Osama Bin Laden, I can’t help but wonder what options will be available to the 911 victims who believe that Bin Laden was responsible”, or for that matter, what options are available for the ones who believe the US Government is responsible?