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Fri, Apr 29, 2005

Charter Company Loses Big In Child Custody Case

Jury Orders Executive Jet Management To Pay $27 Million

A Connecticut jury Thursday ordered Executive Jet Management to pay $27 million to a mother whose children were taken against her wishes by her high-flying ex-husband.

Nina Streeter had sued the charter operator after her ex-husband, Anwar Wissa, Jr., paid $160,00 to fly him and his two young children to Egypt in 2001. The children eventually ended up living with their father on a yacht in Cuba. Wissa was later arrested in Cuba and the two children were reunited with their mother in 2003 -- all with help from Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The jury Thursday ordered Executive Jet Management to pay Streeter $10 million for negligence and custodial interference. Jurors then awarded her another $17 million for the 22-months she spent apart from her two kids.

"She was certainly thrilled with the result and hopes that it sends a message to the private charter industry," Streeter's attorney, Barry Pollack, told the Associated Press.

"Executive Jet Management complies fully with all government laws and regulations and operates under the identical applicable protocol as the major air carriers," Executive Jet spokeswoman Ginnell Schiller told reporters, reading from a prepared statement. "We have great respect for our judicial system and know that this matter will be satisfactorily resolved on appeal."

FMI: www.ejmjets.com

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