Final Word from Thursday, May 22, 2003

Holocaust lawyer Ed Fagan, famous in the CR for his bombastic attempt to halt Temelín, has found new victims. He's taken 34 of the world's biggest companies and banks to court in New York City for "aiding and abetting" apartheid in South Africa. He's seeking more than $100bn and expects to shame the companies into settling. If successful, according to the Financial Times, he'll use this as a stepping stone for bigger claims against companies that did business with the Soviet Union and other discredited regimes. No mention has been made of Czechoslovakia, which would be a small fish. But success on a large scale would probably lead some U.S. lawyer to seek compensation eventually from companies that were in bed with the local Communists. Many Western companies have taken pride in having been active here for decades. Fagan's latest court efforts could encourage them to try to downplay these past activities.


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