The family of Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager who was killed by a terrorist attack in a restaurant in Tel Aviv in 2006 while on a school trip, is seeking to compel the government of Israel to allow one of its retired intelligence officers, Uzi Shaya, to testify in a lawsuit accusing government-owned Bank of China of providing financial services to the terrorists.
The Wultz family claims that Israel decided to oppose Shaya’s deposition, despite having agreed to allow it for years, under pressure from the Chinese government.
The lawsuit against Bank of China is pending before Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin (See Profile), but the issue of Shaya’s deposition is being litigated before Judge Reggie Walton in the District of Columbia, where Shaya was served with a subpoena. Israel filed a motion to quash the subpoena on Nov. 15, saying that allowing Shaya to testify would compromise its security interest.
In a brief filed Dec. 17, the Wultz family argued that the motion to quash must be denied. They said Israel had been preparing to let Shaya testify for years, including arranging a meeting between Shaya and a Wultz family member, and had voluntarily disclosed much of the information Shaya was to testify about until its “eleventh-hour reversal” this year.
“For the reasons described above, including Israel’s repeated and deliberate prior disclosures, Israel’s blanket assertion of national security is not entitled to great weight,” the brief said. “It also utterly fails to explain how its current position can be reconciled with the United States’ interest in assuring the integrity of the U.S. judicial system and in combating terrorism directed at its citizens,” said Boies Schiller & Flexner, which represents the family.
Israel is represented by Arnold & Porter and Hartmann Doherty, Rosa, Berman, Bulbulia.