A US judge has ruled against Saudi Arabia’s bid to dismiss lawsuits, asserting that the monarchy must pay billions of dollars in damages as it helped plan the September 11, 2001, attacks.
US District Judge George Daniels said in Manhattan, New York, on Wednesday that the plaintiffs’ allegations “narrowly articulate a reasonable basis,” Reuters reported.
Daniels has been tasked to oversee litigation against Riyadh by the families of those killed, some 25,000 people injured, and numerous businesses.
The lawsuit alleges that the Saudi embassy in Washington paid for two Saudi nationals to fly from the city of Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks.”
“We’re delighted that Judge Daniels denied Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss,” James Kreindler, a lawyer for many of the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview. “We have been pressing to proceed with the case and conduct discovery from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so that the full story can come to light, and expose the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks.”
The kingdom has denied having played any role in the deadly attacks.
Some 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, after four hijacked passenger planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
In several cases, hundreds of victims’ relatives and injured survivors, along with insurance companies and businesses say, the Saudi government assisted the attacks through a variety of activities in support of al-Qaeda over a number of years.