Friday, 28 March 2014

U.S. Victims of Jerusalem Bombings Lose Bid for Artifacts

Further developments in Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 03-cv-09370, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). A federal judge in Chicago says survivors of a 1997 terrorist attack blamed partly on Iran can't seize museum pieces in Chicago's Field Museum and the University of Chicago U.S. collections to help pay a $412 million judgement against Iran. Survivors of the suicide bombing in Jerusalem sued Iran's government, accusing it of being complicit. A Washington, D.C., court had awarded that judgment.

District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled yesterday the antiquities were legally beyond the victims’ reach. “The court recognizes the tragic circumstances that gave rise to the instant action, but finds that the law cited by plaintiffs does not offer the remedy they seek,” the judge said. State Department Attorney David Strachman, who represented lead plaintiff Jenny Rubin, her mother and the other seven, said today in a phone interview that his clients were “very disappointed” with Gettleman’s decision and blamed the U.S. State Department for arguing against the seizure.[...]  While the university and the natural history museum claim ownership of the remainder of the sought-after artifacts, the claimants contend they were illegally removed from Iran and still belong to that country. 
Among Gettleman's findings was that there was no evidence Iran's government claimed ownership of the collections.

Associated Press,'Museum items can't be seized to pay Iran judgment'  Mar 28, 2014
Andrew Harris, ' U.S. Victims of Jerusalem Bombings Lose Bid for Artifacts', Bloomberg Mar 29, 2014

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