Hamid Baghaei, the former deputy president during Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s second administration, has renewed his war of words with the judiciary.
“If it’s true the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force gave me loads of hard currency, why have its commanders not been summoned to the courts?” he asked.
Meanwhile, the third session of the court of appeals, concerning a lawsuit against Baghaei and Ahmadinejad’s former accountant Joz Khorasani, was held on February 10.
A day earlier, Baghaei had noted on his Telegram channel that the IRGC’s spy service had “accused me of receiving loads of foreign currencies on August 5, 2013, for distributing among the heads of African states, but I pocketed them.”
Furthermore, Baghaei wrote, “If that’s true, why weren’t the Quds Force commanders summoned to find out why they gave me foreign currencies without receipts when I was no longer a public servant?”
Ending his comments with another question, Baghaei asked, “Is there some deadwood in the IRGC ready for an inside cleansing, while victimizing and using me as a tool?”
Other charges against Baghaei include requesting 3 trillion rials (roughly $28 million) to award 16 people serving in Ahmadinejad’s administration; financially assisting the daily newspaper Iran, the proposed University of Iranians owned by Ahmadinejad, and other organizations; colluding on contracts; and large-sum dealings with five companies.
The primary court sentenced Baghaei to 15 years in prison and demanded that he return 400 billion rials.
The war of words between Ahmadinejad and the judiciary flared up when Baghaei was detained last June and charged with financial corruption. Baghaei was later released on heavy bail.
The judiciary, backed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is an all-powerful institution that often acts willfully against opponents and critics of the ruling elite.