US top court takes up case of Jerusalem terror attack victims vs Iran

The long-running Chicago lawsuit arose from a 1997 attack in which three members of the Islamic militant group Hamas blew themselves up in Jerusalem, killing five people.

By REUTERS
June 27, 2017 17:31
1 minute read.
US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether people injured in a 1997 bombing attack in Jerusalem can seek to enforce a $71 million judgment against Iran over its alleged role by seizing ancient Persian artifacts held by two Chicago museums.

The justices will hear the plaintiffs' appeal of a ruling last year in favor of Iran by the Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The court's ruling in the case is also likely to dictate the outcome of a similar dispute pending before the justices in which four different groups of plaintiffs representing those injured in other allegedly Iran-backed attacks are seeking to enforcement court judgments by seizing $17.6 million in assets held by Iranian government-owned Bank Melli.

At issue is how to determine what assets are immune from seizure under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a federal law that restricts when foreign entities can be sued in US courts.

The long-running Chicago lawsuit arose from a 1997 attack in which three members of the Islamic militant group Hamas blew themselves up in Jerusalem, killing five people. Eight US citizens were injured. They and some of their relatives, including lead plaintiff Jenny Rubin, sued Iran in a US court for its alleged role and obtained a $71.5 million judgment that they then sought to collect on.

They targeted three collections of ancient Persian artifacts including prehistoric pottery, ornaments and precious tablets with Elamite writing held by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. The museums have said they own the artifacts, but the plaintiffs maintain that Iran does. Iran has previously sought return of some of the items.

The court will hear arguments and decide the case in its next term, which begins in October.



In a similar case, the Supreme Court last year ruled that almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 truck bombing by Hezbollah militants of a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

Related Content

A general view shows the town of Khorog, Tajikistan
August 16, 2018
Young couple trying to prove human kindness killed by ISIS

By JULIANE HELMHOLD