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Dutch Court Hands Out Life Sentence In Killing Of An Exiled Iranian

File - Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi in his youth (L) when he was accused of the worst terror attack against the nascent Islamic Republic and in later years in exile in Europe.
File - Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi in his youth (L) when he was accused of the worst terror attack against the nascent Islamic Republic and in later years in exile in Europe.

A court in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has sentenced to life imprisonment the suspect who ordered the murder of an exiled Iranian in December 2015, in the Dutch town of Almere.

There is no direct evidence implicating the Islamic Republic of Iran in the murder, the court ruled on Thursday, July 18.

According to the Dutch media, since the prime suspect, 38-year-old Nouafel F, who hired the killers, refrained from saying anything about his motive, the court could not say if the Islamic Republic had been involved in the case or not.

The victim, identified as Ali Motamed, was shot in the head in front of his house in Almere and later died at a hospital.

Earlier, the Dutch daily Het Parool had cited court documents stating that the man's true identity was Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi. According to Het Parool, Kolahi was "most certainly" the man accused by Iranian authorities of perpetrating the deadliest terrorist attack the country has ever seen.

Kolahi reportedly entered the Netherlands under the false identity of Ali Motamed as a refugee in the 1980s. He had fled Iran after the June 28, 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republic Party headquarters which left more than seventy dead. Among the victims was the nascent Islamic Republic's Chief-Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, considered as the number two man of the newly established Islamic Republic after its founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Two days after the bombing, Kolahi as a member of a dissident group, Mojahedin Khalq-i Iran Organization (MKO), was officially accused of the deadly attack. Nevertheless, MKO never claimed responsibility for the bombing.

However, the mysterious circumstances of Kolahi's murder led to suspicion it could have been a hit ordered by Iran's intelligence services in retribution for the bombing.

Earlier this year, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said there were "strong indications that Iranian security services were involved in the assassination of 56-year-old Kolahi, as well as the killing of another Dutch national of Iranian origin and an activist, Ahmad Molla Nissi, 52.

Nissi had founded an Arab nationalist group inside Iran. He was gunned down in 2017.

Exiled Iranian political activist Morteza Sadeqi, who has followed 'Kolahi's case closely, told Radio Farda that it is virtually impossible to prove the Islamic 'Republic's involvement in the murders because of the heavy burden of proof in Dutch law, but that it would not be out of character for the Islamic 'Republic's security services to commission an assassination on European soil.

"Tehran believes that since it cooperates with U.S. and EU in some terror-related intelligence affairs in the region (Mideast), it has the right to assassinate its opponents sheltered in Europe who have a record of armed rebellion and operations inside Iran," Sadeqi told Radio Farda.

The two men accused of killing Samadi have been identified as 28-year-old Anouar A.B., a naturalized Dutch citizen, and 35-year-old Moreo M, the Dutch daily Het Parool reported, adding, "Both suspects have criminal records and come from the Bijlmer neighborhood of Amsterdam."

The Bijlmer neighborhood has developed a reputation as a home to criminal elements in recent years.

The two have been sentenced to twenty and 25 years.