Saudi Arabia to remain out of 9/11 damages case

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Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The US judge overseeing a case seeking damages from foreign governments over the September 11, 2001 attacks has refused to reinstate claims against Saudi Arabia.

The plaintiffs - mostly the families of victims of the attacks - had asked US District Judge George Daniels to reinstate claims against Saudi Arabia and a related charity. They cited a November appeals court decision allowing similar claims to proceed against Afghanistan.

But Daniels said the November opinion by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals was not sufficient grounds to bring back the Saudis, who had been dismissed as a defendant in 2005.

"The fact that Afghanistan remains in the case for now is not a reason to reinstate the cases against the Saudi Kingdom and the High Commission, which have been closed for years," Daniels said.

Stephen Cozen, who argued on behalf of the plaintiffs at Thursday's hearing, said they would appeal Daniels' decision.

Out of the over 200 entities and governments originally sued by the plaintiffs about 100 are still listed as defendants, and active litigation is ongoing with less than 10, a lawyer involved in the case said.

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