Republic of Iraq v. ABB AG

768 F.3d 145 (2014)

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Republic of Iraq v. ABB AG

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
768 F.3d 145 (2014)

Facts

The current government of the Republic of Iraq (Iraq) (plaintiff) sued ABB AG and other companies (conspirators) (defendants) in federal district court to recover assets that Iraq’s deposed former regime and the conspirators allegedly stole as part of a scheme to divert international humanitarian-relief funds into state coffers and the conspirators’ own pockets. In addition to common-law violations, Iraq alleged that the conspirators’ actions violated the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The federal district court dismissed the case. The court ruled that Iraq’s common-law claims should be adjudicated by state courts and that the FCPA did not give Iraq a private right of action. The court dismissed Iraq’s RICO Act claim for lack of extraterritorial applicability and on the basis of the doctrine of in pari delicto. Iraq appealed to the Second Circuit, which affirmed most of the district court’s rulings before turning to Iraq’s argument that the current government bore no responsibility for the deposed regime’s misdeeds.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kearse, J.)

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