Hamas, Tamil Tigers May be Removed From EU Terror Blacklist

terroristThe European Union’s top court took a step on Thursday toward confirming the removal of Hamas and the Tamil Tigers from an EU terrorism blacklist, despite protestations from Israel and the Sri Lankan government.

An advocate general at the European Court of Justice, whose advice is usually followed by judges, recommended that they reject an appeal by the Council of EU member states against the lower General Court’s decisions in late 2014 to remove both movements from the sanctions list due to flawed procedures.

At the time, Israel, which has had fraught relations with the EU in recent years, recalled Europeans’ treatment of Jews in the Holocaust and denounced the bloc’s “staggering hypocrisy.”

The European Union’s top court took a step on Thursday toward confirming the removal of Hamas and the Tamil Tigers from an EU terrorism blacklist, despite protestations from Israel and the Sri Lankan government.

An advocate general at the European Court of Justice, whose advice is usually followed by judges, recommended that they reject an appeal by the Council of EU member states against the lower General Court’s decisions in late 2014 to remove both movements from the sanctions list due to flawed procedures.

At the time, Israel, which has had fraught relations with the EU in recent years, recalled Europeans’ treatment of Jews in the Holocaust and denounced the bloc’s “staggering hypocrisy.”

Both organizations argued that they were engaged in legal wars against Israel and the Sri Lankan government, respectively.

The General Court did not address whether the groups’ actions merited inclusion on the list of terrorist organizations but ruled the procedures by which they had been put there were flawed. The EU Council’s appeal also cited the lower court’s failure to accept its argument that the groups’ presence on the U.S. terrorism list justified sanctions. Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston concluded, however, that the EU could not assume that other countries gave those it listed sufficient right of appeal.

Her advice, which also said some elements of the appeal were justified, is not binding. But judges’ rulings typically follow closely the recommendations of the advocates general.

The ECJ said its justices were beginning their deliberations on the case and there was no set date for a ruling. (Newsweek)

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