Retired FBI agent, missing in Iran since 2007, died in captivity: Family

27 Mars, 2020, 03:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • An FBI poster showing a composite image of former FBI agent Robert Levinson right of how he would look like after five years in captivity and an image

A retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson who disappeared from an Iranian island in 2007 while working as a private investigator, is believed to have died in Iranian custody, his family revealed in a statement Wednesday.

Robert Levinson's family made the announcement based on information from USA officials.

President Donald Trump said that while he had not been told that Levinson was dead, things did not look good given Levinson's deteriorating health.

The email was sent a day after Levinson's family revealed that US government officials had recently told them that they believed Levinson was dead.

Wray writes in the email that he himself met with the Levinson family and "explained that the most credible evidence we have collected over the past 13 years points to the likelihood that Bob died in captivity".

With her family seated behind her, Christine Levinson, wife of Robert Levinson, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2019.

Fox News reported that "Levinson was 58 years old when he traveled to Kish Island, Iran, in 2007 working as a private investigator as part of an unauthorized Central Intelligence Agency mission allegedly probing cigarette smuggling".

ABC News also reported past year that Levinson's case had been set aside by the Obama administration during negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal, senior officials of both the Obama and Trump administrations confirmed, while a handful of other Americans were set free in 2016.

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Salahuddin was wanted by the CIA for allegedly murdering an Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980, and Levinson hoped the mission to deliver him to the agency would secure him full-time employment with the CIA, the source told the news organization at the time.

O'Brien added in his statement: "Iran must provide a complete accounting of what occurred with Bob Levinson before the United States can fully accept what happened in this case". "I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine", he said in the recording.

"We will spend the rest of our lives making sure of this, and the Iranian regime must know we will not be going away".

Levinson's family's latest announcement comes just weeks after a federal judge in Washington held Iran liable for his disappearance, saying the country was "in no uncertain terms" responsible for Levinson's "hostage-taking and torture". "They will know him only through the stories we tell them".

Iranian officials steadfastly denied knowing anything about him, despite queries from the US and requests through other countries that had better relations with Iran. He was a great gentleman, and a great family.

In November 2010, video emerged of Levinson wearing an orange jumpsuit and pleading to be released and returned to the United States. But even then, his whereabouts and fate were not known.

The judge's decision followed a weekslong trial of emotional testimony from Levinson's family, including from each of his seven children.

The household mentioned Levinson died earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Iran onerous and led authorities to launch hundreds of prisoners briefly.

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