The European Court of Justice has ruled that European Union (EU) institutions
have the legal authority to freeze the funds of individuals ‘in connection with
the fight against international terrorism’, if it is sanctioned by the UN
Its decision comes in a case brought by Ahmed Ali Yusuf, the Al Barakaat
International Foundation and Yassin Abdullah Kadi, whose funds were frozen in
Sweden in 2001.
Kadi heads the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation, which the US alleges is an
al-Qaeda front, and Yusuf the Sweden-based Al-Barakaat foundation, whose claims
to send humanitarian aid to Somalia have been challenged by intelligence
The plaintiffs argued the 2002 EU regulation used to freeze their property
illegally infringed their property rights, but the court found the EU had no
choice but to approve the law, given the paramount nature of UN decisions,
‘which prevail over any other obligation’.
Meanwhile, global police agency Interpol is introducing a new terrorism
notice alerting law enforcement organisations worldwide about the identity of a
terror suspect, telling them to freeze their assets and impose travel bans.
The new notice will be used alongside Interpol’s better known ‘red notice’,
telling police to hunt internationally wanted criminals. Osama Bin Laden has
long been among Interpol’s Top 10 most-wanted people.
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