News and Press Releases


June 6, 2005

HASSAN KHALEGHI, 38, of Bellevue will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle today charged by complaint with International Parental Kidnaping. The case unfolded late on Friday May 13, 2005 when KHALEGHI sought to leave the United States with his two small children for his native Iran.

According to the complaint, the FBI was contacted by an attorney for the children's mother at 4 PM on Friday, May 13th with information that KHALEGHI had taken the children without the mother's permission and left the country on a 1 PM flight to Amsterdam. According to the children's mother, KHALEGHI had wanted to move the family to Iran. He had stated the children would be "better off dead" than allowed to grow up in the United States. KHALEGHI had called the children's mother from the plane and told her he was taking the children to Iran and she would never see them again. The FBI confirmed that KHALEGHI, his 7-year-old son and 1-year-old son were on the plane.

Working quickly with the United States Attorney's Office, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs and INTERPOL, KHALEGHI was arrested by Dutch authorities when the Northwest Airlines flight arrived in Amsterdam. The children were reunited with their mother who flew to Amsterdam the next day. The U.S. Marshals Service returned KHALEGHI to the United States on June 3, 2005.

International Parental Kidnaping is punishable by up to three years in prison. A complaint contains allegations that have not yet been proven at trial.

KHALEGHI made his initial appearance at 2:30 today in the Magistrate Judge Courtroom on the 12th floor of the Federal Courthouse in Seattle at 700 Stewart Street.

Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Lawrence Lincoln are prosecuting the case.

For additional information contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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