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President George W. Bush may have taken Libya off the list of states sponsoring terrorism, but that was not enough to persuade a federal judge to drop a lawsuit alleging the country provided material support for the 1984 hostage-taking and eventual killing of Peter Kilburn in Lebanon. In a ruling July 26, Judge Ricardo Urbina found that because the alleged events occurred during the time Libya was on the list of states sponsoring terrorism, the court still has jurisdiction. Urbina also chided Libya’s lawyer, solo practitioner Arman Dabiri, for copying a paragraph in his brief verbatim from a 1998 lawsuit against Libya. “Without implying that this omission was the product of anything more than sloppy lawyering, the court impresses upon defense counsel its intolerance for plagiarism,” Urbina wrote. This wasn’t the first time Dabiri fell out of favor with the court. In a separate ruling last month, Urbina found that Libya and Dabiri “failed to act in good faith” to resolve a discovery dispute over the testimony of Abdelgader Ghawga, Libya’s former ambassador to Lebanon, and ordered them to pay $12,185 in attorney fees for the plaintiff. Dabiri declined to comment.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected]

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