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Giuliani bankruptcy judge frustrated with case, rebuffs attempt to challenge $148 million judgment

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Giuliani bankruptcy judge frustrated with case, rebuffs attempt to challenge $148 million judgment
News

News

Giuliani bankruptcy judge frustrated with case, rebuffs attempt to challenge $148 million judgment

2024-05-15 07:06 Last Updated At:07:10

The judge overseeing Rudy Giuliani's bankruptcy case said he was “disturbed” so little progress has been made in sorting out his finances, and refused Tuesday to lift a legal barrier that has kept the former New York City mayor from appealing a $148 million defamation judgment.

Giuliani declared bankruptc y in December after he was ordered to pay the staggering sum to two former election workers for spreading a false conspiracy theory about their role in the 2020 election.

Since then, Giuliani has missed deadlines to file financial disclosure reports. He hasn't succeeded in selling residences in New York and Florida. Last week, he was suspended from WABC Radio, where he had a daily show, over what the station called his repeated violation of a ban on discussing discredited 2020 election claims.

“They have done nothing. They sold nothing. They settled nothing," said Rachel Strickland, an attorney representing the election workers. She accused Giuliani of getting fired on purpose by “deliberately flouting his employer’s restrictions.”

“I agree with you,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane responded. “And I am disturbed about the status of this case."

Attorneys for Giuliani said he has additional work lined up to bring in money, though they didn't say what kind of work that was. Giuliani's Manhattan apartment could soon be liquidated, they said. His attorneys said issues have been ironed out and necessary financial filings will also be made. Giuliani faces accusations from a slew of people who say he potentially owes them money.

“They finally have, I think, gotten things on track,” said his lawyer, Heath Berger.

The judge rejected a request from Giuliani, though, to lift an automatic stay so that he could pursue post-judgment litigation in the defamation case. Creditors' lawyers argued that doing so would delay the bankruptcy proceeding.

Lane also addressed a request from lawyers for the election workers that Giuliani be barred from making additional defamatory statements against them. While holding off on a decision, Lane said there was already a court decision on the matter and he was "not going to let this court be used as a place where parties can flout the requirements of the law.”

“Tell your client to stop," Lane told lawyers for Giuliani. "It's not complicated.”

Lawyers will meet with the judge again on Thursday to discuss the issue.

FILE - Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Dec. 15, 2023. A New York bankruptcy judge rejected Giuliani's request to pursue an appeal of a $148 million defamation judgment for spreading lies about the the 2020 election and said he was “disturbed” by the lack of progress in the five-month-old case on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

FILE - Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Dec. 15, 2023. A New York bankruptcy judge rejected Giuliani's request to pursue an appeal of a $148 million defamation judgment for spreading lies about the the 2020 election and said he was “disturbed” by the lack of progress in the five-month-old case on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s far-right national security minister visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a move that could disrupt the delicate Gaza cease-fire talks.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist settler leader, said he had gone up to the contested Jerusalem hilltop compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray for the return of the hostages "but without a reckless deal, without surrendering.”

The move threatens to disrupt sensitive talks aimed at reaching a cease-fire in the 9-month-old Israel-Hamas war. Israeli negotiators landed in Cairo on Wednesday to continue talks.

The visit also came just days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for a trip to the United States, where he will address Congress.

Ben-Gvir said while standing in front of the golden dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque that he “is praying and working hard" to ensure that Netanyahu will not give in to international pressure and will continue with the military campaign in Gaza.

Ben-Gvir last visited the site in May to protest countries unilaterally recognizing Palestinian statehood.

He has been convicted eight times for offenses that include racism and supporting a terrorist organization. As a teen, his views were so extreme that the army banned him from compulsory military service.

As security minister, Ben-Gvir oversees the country’s police force. As a key coalition partner, Ben-Gvir also has the power to rob Netanyahu of his parliamentary majority and try to force early elections.

Ben-Gvir has used his influence to push forward pet projects and encourage Netanyahu to press ahead with the war in Gaza in the face of widespread calls to reach a cease-fire deal that would bring home hostages.

Jews and Muslims both claim the Jerusalem hilltop compound, which is considered the holiest site for Jews.

Palestinians consider the mosque a national symbol and view such visits as provocative, though Ben-Gvir has frequently visited the site, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, during tense periods. Tensions over the compound have fueled past rounds of violence.

In an overnight session that lasted into Thursday morning, Israel’s parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state. The vote was largely symbolic and meant to send a message ahead of Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S.

Overnight Israeli strikes Thursday in central Gaza killed at least 11 people, according to the Hamas-run Civil Defense organization and hospitals. At least two children and two women were killed in air strikes on a house and a car.

In recent weeks, Israel has stepped up strikes in central Gaza, where many Palestinians have fled to escape fighting in other parts of the beleaguered territory. Israel’s military said it targeted a senior commander from the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad’s naval forces in Gaza City, and another Islamic Jihad commander responsible for launches in the city of Shejayiah.

Israel also said it killed a senior commander affiliated with Hamas and other militant groups in Lebanon. In a statement, Sunni al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, or the Islamic Group, identified him as Mohammad Hamed Jabbara and said he was killed in a strike in the western Bekaa area in Lebanon not far from the Syrian border. The Israeli military described Jabara as a Hamas operative in Lebanon who helped coordinate Islamic Group attacks targeting northern Israel.

The war in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, has killed more than 38,600 people, according to the territory’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. The war has created a humanitarian catastrophe in the coastal Palestinian territory, displaced most of its 2.3 million population and triggered widespread hunger.

Hamas’ October attack killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and militants took about 250 hostage. About 120 remain in captivity, with about a third of them believed to be dead, according to Israeli authorities.

FILE - Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

FILE - Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sept. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool, File)

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