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Flint man, formerly imprisoned in Iran, suing US government over compensation

Amir Hekmati steps off a plane at Bishop Airport in Flint.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A Flint man held for four years by the Iranian government is now suing the U.S. government.

Amir Hekmati was visiting family in Tehran when he was arrested in 2011 and charged with spying for the U.S. The U.S. marine veteran was convicted and sentenced to death. Hekmati claims he was tortured.

But in 2016, Hekmati was released with other Americans held by Iran.

A federal court later ruled that the government of Iran owed Hekmati $63 million.

This week, Hekmati filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming he has not received compensation from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.  

Created in 2015, the Fund was established to provide compensation to individuals injured by a state sponsor of terrorism.

The suit claims the Fund found he was eligible for an award of $20 million nearly two years ago.   But no payments have been made.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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