WASHINGTON (CN) - Sudan and Iran are liable for the 1998 terrorist bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, a federal judge ruled, giving the foreign nationals who filed suit relief through state law.
The victims and families of the deceased foreign nationals working for the United States took Sudan and Iran to court under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), alleging that the two states sponsored and supported the suicide bombings that were carried out by al-Qaida and masterminded by Osama bin Laden.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, foreign national employees of the U.S. government killed or injured while working for their country can sue a state sponsor of terrorism for injuries and damages resulting from the act, U.S. District Judge John Bates said Monday.
"Here, the majority of plaintiffs are foreign national employees of the U.S. government and their immediate family members who ... lack a claim under the 2008 NDAA amendments to FSIA but may proceed under applicable state law," the 45-page decision states.
Bates chose to apply D.C. law to the case because the foreign national victims in the cases worked for agencies headquartered in the nation's capital.
A special master whom Bates tasked with additional proceedings will receive evidence and prepare proposed findings and recommendations for each individual claim.
The 1998 bombings killed hundreds in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and prompted the FBI to put bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.