IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
ODELIA ABECASSIS, et al.,
§ CIVIL ACTION NO. H-09-3884
OSCAR S. WYATT, JR., et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This suit arises out of terrorist attacks in Israel between 2000 and 2003. Most were suicide
bombings; some involved such acts as opening fire on civilians or remotely triggering explosives
in crowded public places. The plaintiffs or their family members were wounded or killed in these
attacks. Some of the victims were Americans.
The defendants are companies and individuals involved in the oil business. The plaintiffs
allege that these defendants purchased oil from Iraq—either directly from Saddam Hussein’s
government or from third parties who had purchased the oil from Hussein—and made payments that
violated the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program. The Oil-for-Food Program required anyone
buying oil from Iraq to pay the purchase money into an escrow account monitored by the United
Nations. Funds from this account could only be used for humanitarian purposes. The plaintiffs
allege that the defendants were involved in buying Iraqi oil with payments that included illegal
kickbacks to a secret bank account in Jordan controlled by Hussein. The plaintiffs allege that
Hussein used funds from this account to make reward payments to the families of the suicide
Case 4:09-cv-03884 Document 118 Filed in TXSD on 03/31/10 Page 1 of 72
1 Pub.L. 102-256, Mar. 12, 1992, 106 Stat. 73, reprinted as a note to 28 U.S.C. § 1350.
2 28 U.S.C. § 1350. The ATS is sometimes referred to as the Alien Tort Claims Act (“ATCA”).
3 18 U.S.C. § 2333.
bombers and others killed in carrying out the terrorist attacks. According to the plaintiffs, such
payments were important to recruiting terrorists.
All 193 plaintiffs allege violations of the Torture Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”).1 Most
of the plaintiffs are aliens. They assert that this court has subject-matter jurisdiction under the Ali