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Judge quashes terrorism lawsuit subpoena for Israeli agent

(JTA) — A U.S. federal court agreed to a request by Israel not to require a former intelligence official to testify in a terrorism lawsuit against the Bank of China.

Israel had asked Judge Shira Scheindlin, a Manhattan judge, to quash a subpoena for the testimony of Uzi Shaya in the terrorism financing lawsuit against the state-owned bank, and on Monday, Scheindlin agreed, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit has been filed by the family of Daniel Wultz, an American teenager killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv; a similar lawsuit has been filed by 22 families of terror victims seeking millions of dollars in damages. The family is accusing the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts.

Wultz, of Weston, Fla., was 16 when he died of injuries sustained in the bombing of a shwarma restaurant. Eleven people were killed in the suicide attack by a Palestinian bomber.

Shaya, according to reports, alerted Chinese security officials in 2005 to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel says if Shaya is forced to testify, he could reveal state secrets.

A guilty verdict under anti-terrorism laws could affect the bank’s ability to continue conducting business in the United States.

The family has said it was encouraged by Israeli officials to file the suit and has accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of acceding to Chinese pressure to scuttle the lawsuit.

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