U.S. verdict allowing seizure of Iran-linked Manhattan skyscraper is overturned

U.S. verdict allowing seizure of Iran-linked Manhattan skyscraper is overturned...
msn.com 11/08/2019 News

Keywords:#Alavi, #Bank_Melli, #Iran, #Iranian, #Islamic, #Manhattan, #Mohammad_Reza_Pahlavi, #Msn.com, #New_York, #Pahlavi, #Persian, #Reza_Pahlavi, #Shah, #Shah_of_Iran, #United_States

By Jonathan Stempel
A jury verdict allowing the U.S. government to seize a midtown Manhattan office tower that it said was effectively controlled by Iran was thrown out on Friday by a federal appeals court, which cited several errors by the trial judge.
The 3-0 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan is a defeat for the Department of Justice, which went to trial hoping to sell the 36-story building at 650 Fifth Avenue, perhaps for close to $1 billion, and distribute proceeds to victims of bombings and other attacks linked to Iran.
Jurors had found in June 2017 that the nonprofit Alavi Foundation, which had a 60% stake in the partnership that owned the building, violated U.S. sanctions imposed against Iran in 1995 because it knew that the 40% owner, Assa Corp, was a front for an Iranian state-owned lender, Bank Melli.
But in Friday's decision, Circuit Judge Richard Wesley faulted trial judge Katherine Forrest, who is now in private practice, for "a troubling pattern of errors on relatively straightforward issues."
Wesley said these included admitting videotapes of former Alavi board members repeatedly invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination, and refusing to let Alavi gather evidence to show the government sued too late.
"If this case returns to trial, a properly informed jury may or may not find for the government - a topic on which we have no opinion," Wesley wrote. "But getting to any outcome requires a fair and procedurally adequate process, something that has been lacking in this case. There are no shortcuts in the rule of law."
Separately, the same appeals court panel set aside Forrest's 155-page opinion, which followed a non-jury trial, in favor of victims of alleged terrorist attacks linked to Iran, who sought damages from Alavi and the partnership, 650 Fifth Avenue Co.
The court said victims could pursue some claims in a retrial, but not others because the partnership was not a "foreign state," as Forrest had wrongly concluded.
A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan, whose office represented the government, declined to comment.
"We are obviously pleased," Alavi's lawyers Daniel Ruzumna and John Gleeson said in a joint statement. "All we have ever wanted and asked for is a fair shake."
A lawyer for attack victims did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, then the Shah of Iran, founded Alavi in 1973 as the Pahlavi Foundation. Its mission includes the promotion of Persian culture, including Islamic studies, in the United States.
The cases are In re: 650 Fifth Avenue and Related Properties, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 17-3258; and Havlish et al v 650 Fifth Avenue Co in the same court, No. 17-3278.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Richard Chang)
---A jury verdict allowing the U.S. government to seize a midtown Manhattan office tower that it said was effectively controlled by Iran was thrown out on Friday by a federal appeals court, which cited several errors by the trial judge. ---
...

Read more from Source »

Related articles based on keyword density
Iran’s water crisis the product of decades of bad planning - The Washi...
washingtonpost.com 03/07/2014 Nature
By Jason Rezaian July 2 at 7:00 AM Follow @jrezaian TEHRAN — Iran is headed for a water shortage of epic proportions, and little is being done to re...View Details»

Persian Inventions...
defence.pk 25/07/2014 History
SYSTEMS AND WAY OF LIFE • Protocol and Etiquette- rules of respect, cultured civilization, of order and harmony of everyday life. • Human Rights – 576...View Details»

Iran Must Celebrate Its Heritage ...
nytimes.com 10/02/2014 Culture
By CAMELIA ENTEKHABIFARDFEB. 10, 2014 Last March, I sublet my Manhattan apartment. A woman called Shireen answered my ad, and when she came to visit I...View Details»

Carter lauds shah of Iran, Dec. 31, 1977 ...
politico.com 31/12/1977 History
By ANDREW GLASS 12/30/2018 11:59 PM EST Updated 12/31/2018 12:02 AM EST Nearing the end of his first year in office, President Jimmy Carter embarked ...View Details»

Seeing Warhol In Tehran? The Saga Of Iran's Modern Art Museum ...
worldcrunch.com 21/03/2017 Arts
Looking at Giacometti "In Cage" at Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art - Siavash Habibollahi/ZUMA Iran built itself a lavish modern arts museum...View Details»


EOF