Bin Laden Suits Allowed Via Media

By: Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer

(AP) A judge has ruled that Osama bin Laden can be served with civil lawsuits stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks through Afghan and Pakistani newspapers and broadcast outlets.

U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer’s order was reviewed by The Associated Press on Thursday. The order, he said, would affect two wrongful death lawsuits filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The judge told lawyers Dec. 20 that a lawsuit could be delivered via newspapers and broadcasters, including the Qatar-based satellite television station Al-Jazeera, BBC World, and CNN.

Litigants “cannot readily obtain (bin Laden’s) address and should not be made to wait until his apprehension or demise to commence litigation,” the judge said.

Baer said he would permit bin Laden to be served through publication with the understanding the lawyers for bin Laden later could challenge the court’s jurisdiction and the method of serving the lawsuits.

According to the order, lawyers were required to publicize the lawsuits for six weeks in the Afghan newspapers Hewad, Anis, Kabul News, and the Kabul Times and in the Pakistani newspaper Wahat.

It said the lawsuits also must be announced for six weeks through broadcasters Al-Jazeera, Turkish CNN, BBC World, ARN, and ADF.

It was unclear if publication or broadcast had begun.

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