Iran’s General Prosecutor says that Tehran has referred to Interpol the case of a woman in Canada accused in his country’s petrochemicals scandal and expects extradition.
The news website of Iran’s Judiciary quotes Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri as saying that an arrest warrant for Marjan Sheikholeslami has been issued and sent to Interpol, and he hopes “they will cooperate”.
The trial of several defendants in Tehran is underway, accused of exporting government owned petrochemicals through front companies and using the funds to make personal profits before returning it to the government. Such trades were arranged with the knowledge of the authorities through private companies to circumvent international sanctions in the past.
Sheikholeslami is one of three defendants who are abroad. There are others who are in the country and attend the court sessions. They are represented by their lawyers in Tehran.
Any extradition would depend on Canadian law and regulations. Mr. Montazeri seems not to be confident that Interpol can return the accused, saying that Iran faces a problem with getting extraditions from countries which “have malice towards us”. He also accused Canada of having turned in to “a safe refuge” for Iranians accused of corruption.
Another Iranian, Mahmoud Reza Khavari who was accused of banking fraud also resides in Canada since 2011.
An Iranian group in Canada called Iranian Canadian Congress has issued a petition asking the government to investigate Khavari and Sheikholeslami.
Iran’s legal system is criticized by international rights organizations, the United Nations and Western government for lacking due process safeguards, lack of transparency and arbitrary verdicts.