Sooner or later justice will prevail: Youssef Nada’s name lifted from terrorist list
The Swiss Foreign Ministry announced that the UN Security Council has at last removed the name of Egyptian businessman Youssef Nada from the list of suspected supporters of terrorism due to a Swiss request. Nada and his company were included in the first UN Terrorist list, where he was accused by the US of funding the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He was banned from leaving his premises and remained under house arrest. Despite never being in trouble with the Swiss authorities, prosecutors opened an investigation and all his companies were raided and his assets frozen. His name remained blacklisted, although no credible evidence was found.
Ambassador Paul Seger asserted that “Switzerland has called for the reform of the United Nations terrorist blacklist for some time and resumed further efforts with various parties to gain approval for reform, especially after the Attorney-General’s office investigations of the financing of terrorism abandoned the case for lack of evidence”.
The media spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs Antje Berchi emphasized that she had received a copy of this resolution and started taking appropriate steps to remove his name from the list of those having any connections with the militant Islamic al-Qaeda organization or suspected of financing Taliban.
In his first comments on the decision, Youssef Nada said “it is a victory for justice and truth,” praising Swiss senator Dick Marty’s efforts for his support, who believed that he was “unjustly accused and subjected to great injustice.”
In a statement to Al-Jazeera, Nada asserted “Marty’s support to justice and his struggle to write-off the names of those blacklisted triggered the new U.S. administration and the UN Security Council to discuss the decision of removing him from the terrorism list.”
The UN Security Council also lifted the name of Syrian-born businessman living in southern Switzerland Ghaleb Himmat who was also Nada’s business partner from the UN list. “The event was unexpected, but Allah rewarded our patience and our innocence was proved,” Himmat said.
After 8 years suffering the anguish of house arrest, banning him from travel and several other constraints imposed by this unjust decision, Himmat claimed “I will visit the Holy House of Allah as soon as possible. Praise be to Allah the Exalted and the Almighty as He ends the unfair injustice.”
Himmat also discussed possible options with his lawyers to prosecute and sue the state, which gravely wronged him.
Nada confirmed that he did not rule out taking legal action against the authorities highlighting that “my main concern now is to recover from the psychological trauma that I have suffered for 8 long years.” However, no action will be taken without consultation with his lawyers first.
In late 2001, former President George W. Bush and his administration had secured the UN terrorism blacklist, which listed Muslims from different nationalities, accusing them of financially supporting terrorism in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Swiss prosecution, which confiscated thousands of documents, had been unable to find any evidence against them. The U.S. administration has also been unable to provide clear evidence of their engaging in activities or supporting terrorism. However, the US administration refused to drop them from the UN terrorist blacklist. Despite this, the Swiss prosecution had suspended all investigations of the Taqwa Foundation since May 2005, under a binding provision issued from the Swiss Federal Supreme Court followed by Italy in 2007 for lack of evidence.