Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke does not have to testify in the multibillion-dollar lawsuit by the former chief of American International Group against the United States over the insurer's 2008 bailout, a federal appeals court said on Wednesday.
The ruling, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, overturned a lower court decision from July that said Bernanke should submit to a deposition by lawyers for former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg.
Deposing Bernanke while he is in office could disrupt "significant" government activities, the panel said.
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Greenberg's Starr International, once AIG's largest shareholder with a 12 percent stake, also did not meet the legal threshold to depose senior government officials and have access to the Fed's deliberative process or Bernanke's mental processes, the panel said.