Monday, March 24, 2014

24-Mar-14: In Canada, a court-ordered counter-attack on Iranian terrorism

Iranian media source article
From Canada's National Post, Sunday March 23, 2014:
Iran blasts Ontario judge over ‘politically motivated’ decision to hand $7M in state assets to terror victims
Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP
An Ontario judge’s decision to hand Iran’s $7-million worth of state assets in Canada to victims of terrorism was branded “politically motivated” and of “no legal value” by the Islamic republic on the weekend. Through its state-controlled media, Iran lashed out at an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling that gave terror victims the money that Iran had stashed in Canadian bank accounts, as well as two properties in Toronto and Ottawa. But after failing to defend itself in court, Tehran’s protest was too little, too late. Following last week’s judgment, sheriffs have been ordered to sell Iran’s properties, empty its bank accounts and divide the proceeds between several terror victims. 
The groundbreaking court decision brought to an end four lawsuits filed in Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia by terror victims seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing Hamas and Hezbollah. The suits followed the enactment in 2012 of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which permitted those harmed by terrorists to seek damages from the state sponsors of their attackers. The government also amended the State Immunity Act to allow such lawsuits... The Ontario court ruled in their favor last Monday, ordering sheriffs to seize a Scotiabank account worth $1.7-million controlled by Iranian diplomat Hamid Moharrami, and an RBC account with a balance of 333,000 euros controlled by Reza Shaker, the Iranian embassy’s charg√© d’affaires. The evidence “overwhelming establishes” that the money in the accounts was the property of Iran, the judge ruled. 
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Iran has 14 Canadian bank accounts holding at least $2.6-million... The “evidence overwhelmingly permits me to conclude that both properties are beneficially owned by Iran and constitute non-diplomatic assets of Iran in Canada,” the judge wrote. He said there was evidence the Ottawa property was linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The Iranian media ["Canadian Court Ruling Lacks Legal Value: Iran", Tasnim News Agency] yesterday quoted a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called Marzieh Afkham who says Tehran was not informed about the legal proceedings:
The accusation against Iran came as the Iranian official have on many occasions stated that Iran, as a victim of terrorism, has always denounced this inhuman scourge.

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