In an opinion today, Judge Scheindlin granted the State of Israel’s motion to quash, on sovereign immunity grounds, a subpoena to a former Israeli national security official, Uzi Shaya. The underlying case accuses the Bank of China of aiding and abetting a 2006 suicide bombing in Israel, and Mr. Shaya allegedly had knowledge of the Bank of China funding terrorism. Judge Scheindlin ruled that Israel had standing to object, and that its objections were valid:
Israel has standing to prevent disclosure of sensitive information that implicates its national security. Under Rule 45, any person or entity — even those not subject to the subpoena — may move to quash a subpoena that “requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter …. ” Here, Israel’s National Security Advisor, Yaacov Amidror, declared that the subpoena requires disclosure of “sensitive and classified information” that Shaya learned in his official capacity. In addition, “[a]ny disclosure of such information would implicate the methods and activities used by the State of Israel to prevent terrorism, would harm Israel’s national security, would compromise Israel’s ability to protect the lives of its citizens, residents, and tourists from terrorism ….” Plaintiffs insist that the subpoena does not “infringe on [Israel’s] national security interests.” But the D.C. Circuit has “consistently deferred to executive affidavits predicting harm to the national security, and have found it unwise to undertake searching judicial review.” Accordingly, I will not second guess the assessment of the National Security Advisor.
Prior posts on the case are here.