Wednesday, June 25, 2008

US Company Seeks protection Under Sharia Law

Here’s a twist on Sharia Law. Is it ‘turn-about is fair play’ or a US company trying to dodge its responsibilities?

A flight of Presidential Airways, a sister Backwater company, crashed in the rugged mountains of central Afghanistan in 2004, killing three soldiers and the three-man crew. The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed the crash on Presidential for its “failure to require its flight crews to file and fly a defined route,” and for not providing oversight to make sure its crews followed company policies and Pentagon and FAA safety regulations.

But Presidential Airways decided to take another defense.

RALEIGH - To defend itself against a lawsuit by the widows of three American soldiers who died on one of its planes in Afghanistan, a sister company of the private military firm Blackwater has asked a federal court to decide the case using the Islamic law known as Shari’a.

The lawsuit “is governed by the law of Afghanistan,” Presidential Airways argued in a Florida federal court. “Afghan law is largely religion-based and evidences a strong concern for ensuring moral responsibility, and deterring violations of obligations within its borders.”

If the judge agrees, it would essentially end the lawsuit over a botched flight supporting the U.S. military. Shari’a law does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their work.

Joseph Schmitz, Prince’s general counsel, said Presidential Airways was asking the federal judge to follow past U.S. cases where courts have applied another country’s laws to resolve damages that occurred overseas.


Ok. You be the judge.

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