Hours after his close allies, Hamid Baghaei and Ali Akbar Javanfekr were summoned to the court, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked the Islamic Republic’s judiciary with unprecedented vitriolic criticism.
Calling the legal procedure against Baghaei a sign of deep disorder ruling over the judiciary, former President Ahmadinejad accused the justice department officials of using their legal power as a “tool at service of their personal ends”.
A website promoting Ahamadinejad and his allies quotes the former president as saying, “All legal and civic rights principles and standards were ignored in the procedure of questioning Hamid Baghaei”.
The bill of indictment against Baghaei, the former president has insisted “is full of legal and lawful flaws while the Prosecutor-General’s office, as well as inspectors and law enforcement officers have repeatedly violated regulations”.
In an open letter dated Thursday, October 26, Ahmadinejad has also listed some of “the crimes” Baghaei is accused of, including “requesting [from his boss, Ahmadinejad, apparently] three trillion rials (roughly $88 million) for sixteen members of Ahmadinejad’s administration”, financially assisting “Iranian International University” [owned by Ahmadinejad] and “the Government’s official daily, Iran”.
Baghaei has also been accused of collusion for signing contracts with five [unnamed] companies.
All these accusations are based on complaints made by President Hassan Rouhani’s government, Ahmadinejad has said.
Parts of the accusations mentioned in Ahmadinejad’s letter are the same as those already publicized by dozens of MPs and members of Rouhani’s administration.
Furthermore, Ahmadinejad has mentioned that the whereabout of “an unknown sum of foreign currency given to Baghaei in 2015, by a revolutionary entity to be distributed among several African [countries’] officials is yet undecided and Baghaei has been also sued for that”.
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad has bitterly criticized the judge in charge of Baghaei’s legal suit, accusing him of directing the legal procedure towards his own ends and not allowing Baghaei or his lawyer to defend and respond to the charges.
“The fate of Baghaei has already been decided by the Judiciary and Justice Ministry and they are pursuing their decision through a legal procedure”, Ahmadinejad has regretfully added.
Ahmadinejad had earlier also circulated a video clip and a letter maintaining that arresting his close allies, including Baghaei are related to the next presidential election and the speaker of parliament [Sadeq’s brother], Ali Larijani’s candidacy in it.
Former president in his Thursday letter has advised the judiciary to avoid politicking, politicizing the Justice Department, violating the law and injustice against people”.
Ahmadinejad has attacked the judiciary at a time that Iranian parliament Audit Court has accused him of illegally spending approximately $1.3 billion of Iran’s oil income in the last 18 months of his presidency.
The court has ordered the former president to repay $1.3 billion to the treasury. The ruling accuses Ahmadinejad that during his tenure oil revenues were spent without proper transfer from the oil ministry to the treasury.
Although the court has found Ahmadinejad directly responsible, it has not issued any other measures against him.
Baghaei had already been arrested this summer and spent two weeks behind bars, eventually going on a hunger strike, He was released on July 26 and his home-coming turned into a political spectacle.
As he arrived at Ahmadinejad’s office, he greeted Ahmadinejad and many supporters waiting for him on the street. Videos taken from the scene show Baghaei speaking to people surrounding him and calling Iran’s Judiciary and specifically its deputy liars.
Baghaei dismissed the charges against him and added “we know you’ll be overthrown soon”. The crowd also chanted slogans to back Baghaei’s shocking statement.
It is reported that he was freed on a huge bail of close to $7 million.
The Judiciary, backed by the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an all-powerful institution, often acting willfully against opponents and critics of the ruling elite.