Israel blocks witness from testifying at U.S. terror trial, accused of bowing to pressure by China


National Post | News

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government prohibited a former security official from testifying in a landmark anti-terrorism case in the United States, court documents showed Saturday, drawing accusations from victims of Palestinian violence that the country was caving in to political pressure from China.

In a petition to an American federal court, the government asked to quash the deposition subpoena issued to the witness, who could have tipped the scales in a case filed by families of victims of suicide bombers who accuse the Bank of China of facilitating terrorist funding via branches in the United States.

In the motion, obtained by The Associated Press, Israel said that by providing knowledge he has of specific Israeli counterterrorism information the witness could divulge state secrets that would endanger Israel’s national security.

But critics say Israel’s actions are motivated by other considerations, namely that the testimony could jeopardize valuable trade ties with China.

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