A federal judge in Washington has entered a default judgment against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a lawsuit brought on behalf of victims of his radical Islamic regime.
The case will now proceed to a hearing to determine damages, according to a lawyer who brought the case and predicts the world will be horrified by the coming testimony.
The complaint asks for damages of $10 billion.
“At this trial, the testimony of the victims of the regime will be heard and resonate throughout the world,” said Larry Klayman of FreedomWatchUSA.org, who pursued the original legal action on behalf of people including Nasrin Mohammadi, whose brother, an activist for freedom and rights in Iran during the 1990s, was jailed, tortured and killed for his efforts.
“In effect, the trial could ultimately prove similar to the historic Nuremberg trials, vividly exposing in graphic detail the inhuman atrocities of this radical Islamic regime, much as occurred with the Nazis, in a court of law,” Klayman said.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington granted a default against Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Sayid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The case is a class action claim on behalf of victims of the regime.
Klayman explained that the action is not only important in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families, “but at this time in history for the world to be confronted with the reality that Iran is the most heinous of all the terrorist states.”
He continued, “Iran is a major threat to world peace, and the regime must be finally dealt with, rendered impotent, and removed by the civilized world before another ‘Holocaust’ results,” he said. “In so doing, no only will the Persian people be freed from bondage and terror, but the nuclear threat will have been largely eliminated, and Israel and the West protected from the horrors of this regime.”
Western nations have presented evidence that Ahmadinejad’s regime, which has threatened to destroy Israel, is developing a nuclear weapons program.
The case is on behalf of the late Akbar Mohammadi and his surviving brother Manoucher, who “were the first to call for regime change during the early stages of the modern freedom movement in Iran.
“Akbar, was tortured and murdered in Evin prison, and Manoucher was also tortured and held for seven years, under a death sentence. Manoucher ultimately escaped and found freedom in the United States. But the case is far broader than just these two heroic freedom fighters and was brought on behalf of all of the victims of the regime, including U.S. servicemen who were murdered as a result of Iranian bounties put on their heads,” Klayman explained.
A status conference will be held Dec. 16 to determine further proceedings. Klayman told WND Manoucher is expected to testify about the torture he endured and what he witnessed others suffer.
The claim is for all Iranians who have had their civil and human rights violated, been assaulted, battered, tortured and even murdered to “keep a vicious, illegitimate and inhuman radical regime in power, all at the expense of the great, courageous, pro-Western, extremely well educated and highly sophisticated Persian civilization.”
The motion for default, filed in September, explained: “Plaintiff’s complaint was filed July 10, 2009, entered July 14, 2009. On September 23, 2009, plaintiff served the initial complaint on defendant Ahmadinejad at a state dinner that he was attending at the Barlay Intercontinental Hotel. Such service occurred while defendant was meeting with the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. Plaintiff received no response from defendant. Plaintiff, on December 15, 2010, again served defendants through Mohammad Tagli Mosleghi. Mosleghi, who was over eighteen years of age and a U.S. citizen who had no relation to any of the defendants, effectuated proper service on this date at 12:55PM. Defendant personally served each and every one of the named defendants by serving the Embassy of Switzerland (2900 Cathedral Avenue Northwest Washington D.C., DC 20008-3405), which is the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its government officials and entities with regard to the United States. Service was made by hand and copies of the amended complaint and summons, along with certified translation in the Farsi language were served on the document intake person inside the embassy,” the filing explains.
The case was brought Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. Klayman noted, “Foreign sovereigns are not immune in cases in which money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury occurring in the U.S. and caused by the tortious act of that foreign state or of any official of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office. … Through tortious and violent acts, defendants have caused extreme [injury] to plaintiffs, citizens of the United States, not only by the brutal killing of their brother. As such, immunity is not provided for such defendants.”
He continued, “There is no doubt that defendants, acting individually and in concert with al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups, were and remain engaged in terrorism and violations of human and civil rights in violation of the law of nations and international law. Plaintiff’s brother, Akbar Mohammadi, … was a student of the University of Tehran and a critic of the Iranian regime.”
“It’s time for the American people to take action,” Klayman told WND at the time. “Our government of Democrats and Republicans has ignored the serious threat from Iran. We the people must do the job ourselves.”
According to the filing, Akbar Mohammadi was “was taken into custody by violent Iranian police and locked away in Evin Prison in Tehran, a place notorious for its cruel imprisonment of political dissidents. Seeking to intimidate its population from engaging in political dissidence, defendants sought to make an example of plaintiff’s brother. However, defendants went beyond a mere imprisonment. While in prison, Akbar was subjected to repeated bouts of torture and cruel and unusual forms of punishment, forced to suffer from defendants’ acts that would be clear violations of United States law. … Through continuous, brutal and repulsive acts of defendants, plaintiff’s brother spent his final years in a constant state of agony.”
Eventually, even though Iranian doctors recommended he be moved to a hospital and treated, he was not. He died July 31, 2006.
Besides the actual acts of torture, Ahamdinejad “has been involved with various worldwide terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, al-Qaida … and others, all officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.”
He’s also “directly and through their agents … provided substantial support to assortment of terrorist organizations.”
“One cannot imagine the emotional suffering plaintiff faced, receiving letters from her brutally beaten and tortured brother, describing the torment he faced on a daily basis,” the court filings say.
The default motion requested $10 billion, and hearings will determine to what extent the plaintiffs will be compensated for their injuries.