Los Angeles -- The estate of Jewish Defense League leader Irv Rubin has filed a $5 million wrongful death claim against the U.S. government in connection with his apparent suicide at a federal detention center.
Rubin, 57, was awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to bomb a mosque and a congressman's office when he allegedly slashed his throat with a safety razor and then jumped headfirst from a balcony at the federal lockup. He died in a hospital nine days later.
The FBI investigated his death and declared it a suicide. But Rubin's widow, Shelley Rubin, suggested her husband might have been murdered.
If the government rejects the wrongful death claim, Rubin's heirs can proceed with a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
Letters sent last week to federal officials by Rubin's family attorney, Peter Morris, did not address the issue of possible foul play. Morris has argued federal agents and employees negligently monitored Rubin during his nearly yearlong stay at the detention center.
Morris said he would not rule out the possibility Rubin committed suicide. He said federal agencies haven't responded to his letters asking about circumstances surrounding Rubin's death.
"So far, they've just stonewalled us,'' Morris said.
Rubin was accused of conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and a field office of Rep. Darrell E. Issa, who is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants.