U.S. court orders Iran to pay $1.4 billion in damages to missing former FBI agent's family
WASHINGTON (REUTERS)- A U.S. court has ordered the government of Iran to pay more than $1.4 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to the family of a former FBI agent Robert Levinson who disappeared during a visit to an Iranian island in March 2007.
In a decision issued late last week, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said that he adopted a special expert’s recommendation that Robert Levinson’s family be awarded $107 million in compensatory damages. The judge awarded punitive damages of $1.3 billion.
In a statement, Levinson’s family welcomed the judge’s ruling.
“Until now, Iran has faced no consequences for its actions. Judge Kelly’s decision won’t bring Bob home, but we hope that it will serve as a warning against further hostage taking by Iran,” the family said, adding: “We intend to find any and every avenue, and pursue all options, to seek justice for Robert Levinson.”
Levinson disappeared after flying from Dubai to Iran-controlled Kish Island in the Persian Gulf in March 2007. There he met with Daoud Salahuddin, an American Islamic militant who fled to Iran while facing charges in the murder of an Iranian embassy official based in Washington.
Months after he disappeared, U.S. government sources acknowledged that before his trip, Levinson had maintained an unorthodox contractual relationship with the analytical branch of the Central Intelligence Agency.
A handful of CIA officials were forced out of the agency and several more were disciplined after an internal investigation.
Report by Reuters.
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