Attorneys Requesting Compensation for Armenians Make Statement in US Court


Attorneys for Armenians seeking reparations for land seized by Turkey during the Armenian Genocide told a United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel that relevant international laws condemning Turkey’s actions existed at that time and should factor in current litigation, Courthouse News Service reported. At issue before the panel is whether the court can make a determination on international war crimes policy and whether or not the statute of limitations has expired for families of victims seeking reparations from the current Turkish government. As per US Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz, there is no doubt that they condemn the actions against Armenians, but the panel must consider whether any laws forbade genocide before the Nuremberg trials of 1945-1946. Descendants of Armenian Genocide victims said in their December 2010 lawsuit that the Ottoman Empire illegally seized their ancestors’ land and unlawfully profited from its sale. Plaintiffs Alex Bakalian, Anais Haroutunian, and Rita Mahdessian sought roughly $65 million in damages and a judgment that Turkey could be tried in US courts for actions related to their genocide of 1.5 million Armenians within the former Ottoman Empire.

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