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Iran's Chief Judge Accuses The West Of Sheltering Corruption Fugitives

Ebrahim Raeesi (L) and Sadeq Larijani (R) his predecessor who has been immune from corruption charges during his tenure as head of Iran's Judiciary. FILE PHOTO

Iran's Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeesi has ordered the Prosecutor General and the deputy for international affairs at the Judiciary to take "serious measures" to bring back "financially corrupt" individuals who have fled the country.

Raeesi (Raisi) has made the call while a major corruption case involving a former deputy judiciary chief is being investigated at a court in Tehran and nearly all of Iranian newspapers have been covering the trial on their front pages.

Raeesi accused the West of being uncooperative in arresting and returning people charged with financial corruption.

Meanwhile, shortly after Raeesi's remarks, Ali Baqeri, the deputy judiciary chief for international affairs, said in an interview with a semi-official news agency

ISNA that "some European countries refuse to cooperate with Iran in arresting and repatriating criminals from Europe."

Baqeri must have been probably talking about Germany where Gholamreza Mansouri, a judge indicted in absentia at a court in Tehran for receiving 500,000 euros in bribes is said to have taken refuge.

Mansouri, a cleric who is also known for fabricating cases against Iranian journalists has been the subject of hundreds of tweets by journalists and other social media users.

In a reference to the protests that followed the George Floyd case, in his remarks on Monday, Raeesi criticized Western countries for what he claimed were "years of massacre and bloodshed and suppressing protests that followed a racist act," and preached that suppression by the police will not silence the outcry of the oppressed and freedom fighters around the world.

Raeesi further criticized the silence of international human rights watchdogs in the face of the "suppression of the protesters in the United States."

He claimed that thousands of protesters have been arrested in the United States and Europe. It appears that Raeesi's comments were aimed at appeasing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who made similar remarks last week. Others, including the Iranian state television, President Hassan Rouhani and members of the Iranian Parliament have been also spreading the same kind of disinformation possibly to show their loyalty to Khamenei.

Members of the Iranian parliament chanted "Death to America" at the Majles on Monday to show their support for protesters in America, failing to note that many U.S. protesters might be annoyed by such anti-US rhetoric.

However, Raeesi failed to remember his own silence in the face of the violent suppression of thousands of protesters in Iran on various occasions particularly since 2018.

He is himself accused of being one of the judges who ordered the killing of thousands of political prisoners in the late 1980s who were serving their prison sentences.

Raeesi further claimed that the current protests could pave the way for a "global justice-seeking movement" against "arrogant powers."

In yet another allusion to the George Floyd case, he called on the West to change its behavior and to "remove its knee from the oppressed people's neck."

Meanwhile, making a minimal reference to the major corruption case at his own office, Raeesi blamed the West for giving asylum to those who run away with the people's money.

He added that the campaign against money laundering and organized crime will not be effective by resorting to international treaties. "There should be a serious resolve to carry out and enforce those treaties," he said.

In another part of his remarks, Raeesi called on those who have been charged with stealing people's money in major cases of financial corruption to surrender to law enforcement as it is in their interest as well as in the interest of society. However, many Iranians, including some regime insiders have always complained about selective justice when it comes to corruption.

But the head of the hardliner Judiciary warned suspects they should never feel safe and think that they can get away with breaking the law.

Iran has on various occasion forced international flights to land to arrest individuals posing security threats, but many high-profile corruption suspects who were regime insiders were able to evade arrest and flee the country..