Federal judge rules Iran must pay in death of Virginia Army veteran

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Iran has been ordered to pay damages after a federal judge ruled the government aided militants that killed a Chesapeake, VA man and held another man hostage back in 2015.

“No amount will bring John back, he was an extraordinary husband and extraordinary father. The money isn’t about bringing John back it’s about sending a signal internationally to Iran,” said Randy Singer, an attorney with the Singer Davis lawsuit that tried the case.

Judge Randolph Moss awarded the two families more than $252 million in damages.

Contractor John Hamen, of Chesapeake, and Mark McAlister of Tennessee flew to Yeman in October 2015 in order to help fortify a hotel for the United Nations. Shortly after they landed, court documents said the two were abducted from the airport in Sana’a, Yemen, and held hostage from the Yemeni militant group known as the Houthis.

The judge sided with Singer’s argument that the Islamic Republic of Iran supported the militant group.

“Really it’s Iran that provided the weapons, it’s really Iran who’s provided the training. I think its incredibly important when we look at the Middle East. Important to look at Iran and where they are acting.”

Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the assault Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing facility.

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