Brussels, July 26 (IANS) The European Union’s top court on Wednesday annulled a court ruling to remove the Hamas militant group from the EU terror blacklist.
The court, however, removed Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the 28-member bloc’s terror list, BBC reported.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on an appeal lodged by the Council of the EU after the European General Court (EGC) decided to scrap Palestinian Islamist group’s retention on the terror list in 2014.
The Luxembourg-based CJEU overturned the judgment and said “the council may maintain a person or an entity on the list if it concludes that there is an ongoing risk of that person or entity being involved in the terrorist activities that justified their initial listing”.
“Only the initial entry of a person or entity on the list must be based on a national decision by a competent authority,” it added.
Hamas, whose political wing governs the Gaza Strip Palestinian territory, denounced the ruling and said its leaders were preparing an official response.
Despite the EGC ruling, Hamas had been retained on the blacklist in anticipation of an appeal and to facilitate the freezing of assets should the decision be overturned.
In a parallel ruling, the CJEU upheld the EGC’s decision to remove the LTTE, who fought in the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009), from the terror list.
The council had challenged this ruling, too, but the judges at the CJEU ruled that it had brought insufficient evidence to suggest that the LTTE intended to continue its terror activities, considering its heavy military defeat.
The EU’s terrorist list was drawn up after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. The list was last updated in January and now included 13 individuals and 22 organisations.