Sunday, September 26, 2004

Iran court upholds billionaire sentence for fraud

IranMania News: "Iran court upholds billionaire sentence for fraud

Sunday, September 26, 2004 - ©2004
LONDON, Sep 26 (IranMania) - An Iranian court has upheld a 27-year jail sentence on a billionaire businessman whose activities came to symbolise the rampant corruption sweeping the country, Iranian media said on Saturday, Agence France Press (AFP) reported.

Shahram Jazayeri had appealed against the prison term imposed on him in November 2002, along with 50 lashes and fines. The case prompted supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to order a judicial crackdown on corruption.

According to Jazayeri's lawyer, Mohammad-Sadegh Al-Mohammad, the supreme court annulled part of the verdict and sent the case back to the lower court which "has ignored the supreme court's annulment of the previous charge of sabotaging the country's exports mechanism, and confirmed the first judgment."

He said a new appeal would be made to the supreme court.

In November 2002, the court sentenced 49 people, including the sons of some prominent clerics, to jail, lashes and fines for "economic corruption", "disruption of the country's economic system", and bribery.

The group was charged with links to Jazayeri.

Jazayeri was accused of paying huge bribes to scores of reformist and conservative MPs and officials to try to secure inside information and legislation favourable to his import-export business empire.

Among those he named during his trial was the former speaker of the then reformist-dominated parliament, Mehdi Karubi, and Hadi Khamenei, brother of Iran's supreme leader,

He told the court he had give Hadi Khamenei 5.5 bln rials ($1 mln), although he denied it constituted bribes."


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