Dubai Islamic Bank v. Citibank, NA

2002 WL 1159699, 99 Civ. 1930 (RMB) (THK) (2002)

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Dubai Islamic Bank v. Citibank, NA

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2002 WL 1159699, 99 Civ. 1930 (RMB) (THK) (2002)

Facts

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) (plaintiff) sued Citibank (defendant) in district court for allegedly failing to keep DIB’s account safe from fraudulent transfers by financial terrorists. DIB employees were investigated and convicted in Dubai for participating in the fraud. Citibank motioned the court to compel 10 DIB employees, all of whom lived and worked in Dubai, to appear for depositions in New York pursuant to notices. Citibank argued that subpoenas were unnecessary because the witnesses were managing agents of DIB. One witness was Valiyakatt Ahmed Khalid, the head of the DIB department in charge of interbank transfers, whom DIB continued to employ despite a conviction and civil claim by DIB for Khalid’s involvement in the fraud, though Khalid was later exonerated and released from liability by DIB. A second witness was Sayed Najamul Hassan, a clerk in that department, who was also retained by DIB despite a conviction and civil claim by DIB that was later withdrawn. A third witness was Mohammad Sadiq, who may have had a minor role in the fraud but remained on good terms with DIB. DIB motioned the court for a protective order, arguing that certain witnesses may not be deposed pursuant to notices because they were not high-ranking corporate employees. DIB contended that some witnesses should be deposed only in Dubai or London, citing travel risks following September 11, 2001 and unsubstantiated medical problems. DIB also suggested telephonic depositions. The district court considered the parties’ arguments submitted in connection with DIB’s motion for a protective order.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Katz, J.)

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