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US Court rules class-action lawsuit against BNP Paribas for allegedly aiding & abetting human rights abuses in Sudan can proceed

"Hausfeld and Hecht Partners Announce Court’s Ruling That Sudanese Genocide Victims’ Class Action Will Move Forward in New York Against French Bank BNP Paribas", 18 Feb 2021

Judge Alison J. Nathan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that a class action can move forward against French bank BNP Paribas S.A., for conspiracy and aiding and abetting human rights violations in Sudan from 1997 to 2009. The class action is brought on behalf of twenty-one Sudanese-American victims and a putative class of more than 10,000 refugees, represented by Hausfeld and Hecht Partners. The plaintiffs—victims of murder, rape, and torture—seek to hold BNP Paribas liable for illegally financing the genocidal regime of Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir through fraud and sanctions evasion...

In its opinion, the court found that the plaintiffs have alleged enough facts to demonstrate that BNP Paribas knew or should have known that it was fueling—and profiting from—genocide. Describing the bank’s alleged scheme with the Sudanese regime as a “profitable business relationship,” Judge Nathan found that the bank allegedly “was able to generate those profits for the Regime (taking a cut for itself) in part because of genocide.”

“This ruling recognizes our clients’ claims under Swiss law and confirms that willful or negligent complicity in human rights abuses means civil liability,” say Kathryn Lee Boyd of Hecht Partners and Brent W. Landau of Hausfeld, interim co-lead counsel. “Thousands of Sudanese refugees—who have never received any compensation—are one step closer to justice. We look forward to obtaining discovery of evidence to be used at trial.”...