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July 30, 2011

Pakistan Intelligence Agency Asks US Judge To Block Holtzberg Family Suit Against It

Holtzbergs Mumbai Terror Attack The case filed against ISI by relatives of a rabbi killed in the Mumbai terror attacks could be "disastrous" because the negative reaction against it would undermine US goals in the region, the lawyer representing the Pakistani intelligence agency has said.

Holtzbergs Mumbai Terror Attack

'ISI lawsuit could be disastrous for US'
Hindustan Times / Press Trust Of India

New York – The case filed against ISI by relatives of a Rabbi killed in the 26/11 attacks, could be "disastrous" as the negative reaction against it would undermine the US goals in the region, the lawyer representing the Pakistani intelligence agency has said. Kevin Walsh, the lawyer, asked for the case to be thrown out warning of its negative consequences and potential to fuel violence and extremism, The New York Post reported.

"The consequences of this judicial inquiry have the potential to be disastrous," Walsh argued in a letter filed on Friday with a federal judge.

"The intrusion of these actions into the politics of Pakistan will fuel violence and extremism, directed against the government the US intends to support," the attorney argues.

Walsh argued that US courts do not have jurisdiction over government agencies in Pakistan, The Post reported.

Last year, relatives of Rabbi Gavriel Noah Holtzberg, who was gunned down along with his pregnant wife, Rivka, during the Mumbai attacks, sued ISI and terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, in the Brooklyn Federal Court for wrongful death.

The Rabbi and his wife, who originally were from Brooklyn were killed when the attackers entered the Chabad Lubavitch centre in November 2008.

While the unborn child was killed, their two-year-old son was rescued by his Indian nanny in the attack that killed 166 people.

The lawsuit claims that ISI has worked closely with LeT and seeks damages.

The claim is largely based on the involvement of Pakistani American national David Headley in conducting detailed surveillance of the attack targets for LeT. Headley has pleaded guilty to plotting the attacks.

"The alliance with Pakistan is an extremely sensitive, important and difficult relationship for the United States," Walsh said in the letter.

Here is the New York Post's report [Hat Tip: Seymour.]:

Lawsuit against Pakistan intel agency could be 'disastrous,' says lawyer
By MITCHEL MADDUX • New York Post

A New York lawsuit against Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency could have "disastrous" consequences and fuel instability in a nation vital to America's fight against al-Qaeda terrorists, an attorney argues.

Kevin Walsh, a lawyer representing Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, urged a judge to throw out the lawsuit - filed last year by relatives of New Yorkers murdered in a Hasidic center during the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India.

If the suit against the ISI and several ranking Pakistan intelligence officials is not dismissed, the backlash in Pakistan could undermine American goals in one of the world's most sensitive regions, the attorney said.

"The consequences of this judicial inquiry have the potential to be disastrous," Walsh argued in a letter filed Friday with a federal judge.

"The intrusion of these actions into the politics of Pakistan will fuel violence and extremism, directed against the government the US intends to support," the attorney argues.

The lawsuit, filed last November, also named Lashkar-E-Taiba, a terror group that operates in Kashmir - the disputed territory over which both Pakistan and India claim sovereignty.

It asked for unspecified damages and cites claims that the ISI has worked closely with the Lashkar-E-Taiba group.

But Pakistan has flatly denied these allegations.

The suit was filed by relatives of Gavriel Noah Holtzberg, a rabbi originally from Brooklyn, and his pregnant wife, Rivka, who were gunned down when terrorists stormed the Chabad Lubavitch center in a commando-style attack that also killed the couple’s unborn child.

The Holtzberg’s 2 year-old son survived the attack after being rescued by an employee. He now lives with his grandfather in Israel.

Walsh, a prominent New York attorney, argued that the general public in Pakistan will see the lawsuit not as an action taken by private individuals, but as an official intrusion by Washington into its internal politics and as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

That perception could undermine America's efforts to foster its relationship with Pakistan as part of the US goal of fighting al-Qaeda in neighboring Afghanistan and throughout the region, the attorney says.

"The alliance with Pakistan is an extremely sensitive, important and difficult relationship for the United States," Walsh said.

He's asked Brooklyn federal Judge Dora Irizarry to throw the lawsuit out, emphasizing that any argument with Pakistan should be dealt with by American political institutions - not the US courts - which have no jurisdiction over government agencies in Pakistan.

The judge has not yet ruled on the issue.

Comments

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I guess its time to settle and pony up the big bucks!

If they dont have a lawsuit are martyrs, if they go with a suit they are money hungry. Perhaps the suit should take place against main Chabad or the rebbe, they were the emissaries or not?

don't go to secular court unless one can make money

Its clear from the testimony of David Headley now on trial in Chicago that elements of the Pakistan's government where involved in the attack. Should the murderers of Jews and others go free.
Read the report
http://info.publicintelligence.net/NIA-HeadleyInterrogation.pdf

Seems to ignore the fact that the attack took place inIndia, meaning, India is fuming over this (against Pakistan) as well. And India " over $12bn-worth of trade in the first four months of 2011 alone" according to the link below. The link also notes a military angle as well.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/may/16/pakistan-india

In other words, the lawyer's boisterous claims are way over-exaggerated compared to the real issues and problems. And blocking the suit may cause more infuriated response by India than allowing the suit would cause in Pakistan.

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