Amir Hekmati reunites with family after release - WNEM TV 5

Amir Hekmati reunites with family after release

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L-R: Dr. Ramy Kurdi, (Amir’s brother-in-law), Sarah Hekmati (Amir’s sister), Congressman Dan Kildee, Amir Hekmati, and Leila Hekmati (Amir’s sister) L-R: Dr. Ramy Kurdi, (Amir’s brother-in-law), Sarah Hekmati (Amir’s sister), Congressman Dan Kildee, Amir Hekmati, and Leila Hekmati (Amir’s sister)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY (WNEM) -

After years of waiting, Amir Hekmati has been reunited with his family.

Hekmati's sisters, Sarah Hekmati and Leila Hekmati, his brother-in law, Dr. Ramy Kurdi, and Congressman Dan Kildee flew to Germany to meet the Genesee County man following his release from Iran as part of a prisoner swap.

TV5 has been following the story since Hekmati was imprisoned in Iran in 2011. The former marine was visiting his grandmother when he was taken captive and accused of being a spy, a claim his family denies.

He was sentenced to death by hanging in January of 2012, the first American to receive the death penalty in Iran in more than 33 years. His death sentence was overturned in March 2012 citing insufficient evidence and a new trial was ordered.

In April of 2014, it was discovered that Hekmati was tried in a secret, closed-door proceeding in December of 2013. Neither Hekmati nor his attorney were notified of the proceeding. As a result, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the charge of "cooperating with hostile governments."

News broke on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, that Hekmati, along with three other Americans, were being released as part of a deal to release seven Iranians in U.S. custody.

On Jan. 18, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. GMT, Hekmati's family and Congressman Kildee met him at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where he was being treated along with Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and pastor Saeed Abedini.

The family was able to spend approximately 15 minutes together.

Congressman Kildee has championed for Amir's freedom; even bringing his sister, Sarah Hekmati, as his guest to the State of the Union earlier this month to bring awareness to the situation. Monday was the first time the two were able to meet face-to-face.

Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, whose name had not been previously made public, was the fourth American freed as part of the deal. 

U.S. student Matthew Trevithick was also released independently of the exchange on Saturday.

>>Iran releases Americans in prisoner exchange<<

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