In a ruling last weekend, District Judge Timothy Kelly said he adopted a special expert’s recommendation that Robert Levinson’s family receive $ 105 million in compensatory damages. The judge awarded $ 1.3 billion in punitive damages.

Levinson’s family welcomed the judge’s decision in a statement.

“This trial is the first step in pursuing justice for Robert Levinson, an American patriot who has been abducted and subjected to unimaginable suffering for more than 13 years,” Levinson’s family said.

“So far, Iran has not borne the consequences of its actions. Judge Kelly’s decision will not bring Bob home, but we hope it will serve as a warning against Iran’s hostage-taking, “the family said. justice for Robert Levinson ”.

A spokesman for Iran’s UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year, Levinson’s family said they believed he had died in Iran’s custody, based on information from US officials. Iran has denied this and said the former FBI agent left the country years ago.

Levinson disappeared in March 2007 after flying from Dubai to the Iranian-controlled island of Kish in the Gulf. There he met Daoud Salahuddin, an American Islamic militant who fled to Iran while accused of killing an official at the Iranian embassy in Washington.

Several months after Levinson’s disappearance, US government sources acknowledged that before his trip, Levinson had an unorthodox contractual relationship with the CIA’s analytical division.

Several CIA officials were expelled from the agency and a few others were disciplined after an internal investigation