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Business Words in the News
Friday 21 June 2002
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Lead lawyer Edward Fagan
Apartheid law suit
Summary: Four South Africans have filed a law suit in New York against three of the world’s biggest banks because they allege the banks illegally financed South Africa’s apartheid regime. They are represented by the New York lawyer who helped thousands of holocaust victims win compensation from Swiss banks. This report from Emma Simpson.
The News Listen  
  New York lawyer Edward Fagan said he was seeking fifty billion dollars in reparations against the Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse as well as the US-based Citigroup. He alleged that they illegally propped up the apartheid regime by arranging large loans in the late eighties and early nineties at a time when international sanctions were in force. Four plaintiffs are being represented so far, including the mother of Hector Peterson, the thirteen-year-old boy who was shot by police during an anti-apartheid demonstration and whose death sparked the Soweto riots in 1976. Mr Fagan's legal team said they expected thousands more black South Africans who suffered under apartheid to join the case.The banks have dismissed the lawsuit as completely unjustified and without merit, saying they would fight it with every means available. Mr Fagan said there were more lawsuits to come and that banks in Germany, France and Britain would be named.

Emma Simpson, BBC, New York

The Words Listen
money paid for injury or damage caused in the past

if you allege something is true, you say it but do not prove it

  propped up
supported something which would not survive on its own

restrictions in trade with a country

the people bringing the legal case to court

here, involved in the case

caused them to happen, even if not intentionally

large-scale public violence

a case in a court of law, between two parties in dispute

if something is unjustified there is no good reason for it

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