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U.S. Court Dismisses Saudis From 9/11 Suits

19 January 2005 -- A U.S. federal judge has dismissed Saudi Arabia from 9/11 suits.

Richard Casey ruled that Saudi Arabia, Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Prince Turki al-Faisal, and the country's ambassador to Britain, all have immunity from the litigation.

Casey also dismissed a number of other parties as defendants including Arab Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, and Saudi American Bank.

All had been named in several cases filed on behalf of more than 3,000 plaintiffs, including families of those killed in the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The plaintiffs alleged that Saudi Arabia, the Saudi royal family, and other prominent Saudis made it possible for Al-Qaeda to grow into a "sophisticated global terrorist network."

In response to such charges, Saudi officials said their country had shared information with the United States in the fight against terrorism and that the U.S. State Department has not designated the kingdom as a state sponsor of terrorism.