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Former CIA director: US has the ‘most to lose’ from JASTA


[10/4/2016 10:23:31 AM]

AMMONNEWS - United States has the most to lose due to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) as it compromises with its principle of sovereignty, former CIA director Michael Hayden has said.

Speaking on CNN’s GPS show with Fareed Zakaria, alongside Legal Analyst Jeff Toobin, Hayden said: “You’ve put the world on the path in which the traditional protection, sovereign immunity for those kinds of actions has begun to be eroded”.

This segment of the program discussed the JASTA law that will allow families of the victims of the 9/11 attack in New York to sue Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in the attack.

Currently countries enjoy sovereign immunity – the legal principal that protects them and their diplomats from lawsuits in the American legal system. But the decision, reached on Wednesday by US lawmakers, to remove the presidential veto on the new act will ultimately open countries to facing legal action.

“It is a breach in the wall that has traditionally forbidden individuals in one country from suing governments of other countries, the concept known as sovereign immunity, which is an important principle of international law,” Toobin said.

With current strains on relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, over issues such as the nuclear deal, this new law is likely to complicate the relations further, the New York Times stated in an article.

*Al Arabiya

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