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Outspoken Iranian Lawmaker Sentenced To Jail, Cash Fine


Mahmoud Sadeqi is an outspoken reformist lawmaker from Tehran. FILE PHOTO

Outspoken Iranian lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeqi (Sadeghi) on Tuesday confirmed that a court has sentenced him for charges brought against him by a high-ranking official appointed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

On Tuesday a news agency linked with the Revolutionary Guard reported that Sadeqi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and fifty million rials of cash fine (about $1200) by a court.

Speaking to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) after the report by Fars was published Mr. Sadeqi said the court had passed the sentence in early March and that he has appealed it. But expressing his surprise that a news agency could publicize the sentence, he said he did not wish to discuss the details with the media amid the coronavirus crisis without explaining its significance.

In an open letter to the Chief Justice Sadeq Larijani in 2016, Mahmoud Sadeqi who is a reformist member of parliament from Tehran, demanded that Larijani offer a public explanation about his bank accounts. According to some reports at the time, huge sums of money had been deposited in bank accounts in the Chief Justice's name instead of the Judiciary's accounts.

Sadeqi had also questioned Larijani's qualification for the high positions that he has always held in view of serious corruption allegations against his deputy Akbar Tabari. Tabari is in prison now on charges of trying to pervert the course of justice in several cases.

Sadeqi's criticism could be interpreted as questioning Khamenei's authority who had appointed Larijani as Chief Justice.

Khamenei replaced Sadeq Larijani with Ayatollah Ebrahim Raeesi as Chief Justice but appointed him as the chairman of the very influential Expediency Council in January 2018. The council offers advice and counsel in the country's most vital matters to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It is also the body that mediates between the parliament and the Guardian Council.

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