PARIS – The Iranian regime lost a key court battle on Thursday when the long awaited ruling by the Ontario superior court dismissed every argument presented by lawyers from Iran’s government had made at a trial held in Toronto in January.
The judge ordered the Islamic republic non-diplomatic assets in Canada be handed over to the victims of terrorists groups sponsored by Tehran.
Terrorism is one of the world’s greatest threats,” Justice Glenn Hainey wrote. “The broad issue before the court is whether Iran is entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts for its support of terrorism.”
The judgement, obtained by the AFP on Friday, a reported $13 million to families of US citizens who died in eight bombings or who were taken hostage in Buenos Aires, Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia from 1983 to 2002.
This case was the first challenge of the justice for victims of terror act. The law enacted in 2012 that allows victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters. Canada as well as the United States has listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, both regional and international.
“The justice for victims of terror act continues to do its job in holding Iran — the world’s most egregious state sponsor of terror — accountable for its terrorist crimes,”
The ruling comes at a tense time for Justin Trudeau’s government, which is negotiating with the regime over the fate of Homa Hoodfar, a Montreal professor who was unlawfully detained without charge in March and is being held in Iran’s most notorious Evin prison
The Justice for Victims of Terror act came into effect four years ago and one of the first families to utilize the law was the Bennet family whose daughter, Marla Bennet, was killed at the Hebrew university cafeteria in Jerusalem when a Hamas bomber detonated a bomb packed with shrapnel, killing 9 people, 5 were foreign nationals.
The Iranian government initially ignored the cases brought forward by US courts. Only after orders had been issued did Iran hire a Toronto based law firm, who argued that the cases were filed too late and the amounts sought by the victims were “Offensive” officials said.
The loss of the court case in Ontario comes only a month after the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of transferring $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds to American victims of terror attacks