News ID: 257447
Published: 0459 GMT August 17, 2019

'US has no standing to initiate EU law enforcement,' international lawyer says

'US has no standing to initiate EU law enforcement,' international lawyer says

International lawyer and political commentator Barry Grossman says the United States has “no standing to initiate EU law enforcement,” in response to the US Department of Justice issuing a warrant for the seizure of the Iranian Grace 1 supertanker.

The US Federal Court in the District of Columbia issued a seizure warrant for the Iranian oil tanker, the Grace 1 on Friday, a day after Gibraltar’s Supreme Court confirmed the release of the vessel, which was seized by British Marines in the Strait of Gibraltar.

“The United States now thinks it is the enforcer of EU law too and therefore entitled to ignore the decision of Gibraltar's Supreme Court,” Grossman told Press TV on Saturday, Presstv Reported.

“The US Federal Court Judge who issued the warrant is a tool of the worst order since it should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above room temperature that the US has no standing to initiate law enforcement actions targeting actions by non-Americans abroad by invoking EU law,” he stated.

The Department of Justice warrant unveiled on Friday read, “A seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint were unsealed today in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000.00 are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud statute, and money laundering statute, as well as separately the terrorism forfeiture statute.”

The Department of Justice also alleged that there had been “a scheme to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran.”

Britain’s naval forces unlawfully seized the Grace 1 and its cargo of 2.1 million barrels of oil in the Strait of Gibraltar on July 4 under the pretext that the supertanker had been suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of the European Union’s unilateral sanctions against the Arab country.

Tehran, however, rejected London’s claim that the tanker was heading to Syria, slamming the seizure as “maritime piracy.”

Commenting to Press TV earlier, Grossman said, "While the US, like any nation, is free to make representations to the government of Gibraltar through the proper diplomatic channels, it has absolutely no right or standing to intervene in legal proceedings in Gibraltar which, but for this US tactic of last minute brinkmanship and bullying, both the Chief Justice of Gibraltar's Supreme Court and Gibraltar's chief minister have made clear would have seen the tanker released to Iran.”

“What is in issue in these proceedings is compliance with Gibraltar and EU law, along with any international laws binding on Gibraltar. It is for the relevant domestic authorities in Gibraltar to determine and manage the official position regarding any related legal proceedings without interference and certainly not something that is appropriate for direct intervention by the US in the legal proceedings afoot,” he said.

“This is nothing less than scandalous and if the court gives the US a hearing on any issue except the preliminary question of ‘standing,’ then it will demonstrate that the court is neither independent nor competent and thereby bring Gibraltar's administration of Justice into disrepute,” he stated.

 

 

   
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