Saturday , 12 June 2021

Terrorist Diplomat’s Sentence Finalized in Belgian Court

Iranwire – The 20-year sentence of an Iranian diplomat for his part in a bomb plot in France has been finalised after his lawyers withdrew their appeal.

Asadollah Asadi, who was formerly stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, received the maximum jail sentence from a court in Antwerp, Belgium in February 2021 together with three other Iranian nationals for planning to attack an opposition rally near Paris in 2018.

The twists and turns of the haphazard plot – and how close the perpetrators nearly came to killing hundreds of innocent people – were recently documented for IranWire in a long-form investigative article by Kambiz Ghafouri.

On Wednesday, May 5, it emerged that the convicted terrorist’s appeal would not be pursued further. Speaking during a procedural hearing before the Antwerp Court of Appeal, Asadi’s lawyer Dimitri de Béco announced that his client had effectively given up the right of appeal.

He had filled out the form himself, he said, based on a professional duty, but Asadi had never approved it because he did not accept the court’s jurisdiction.

Assadi had also been absent during the criminal proceedings and the sentencing in Antwerp, wrongly insisting that he had diplomatic immunity.

The three Iranian residents of Belgium jailed for their part in the conspiracy, Nasimeh Naami, Amir Saadouni and Mehrdad Arefani, who were each sentenced to 15- to 18-year terms, have lodged appeals. Their pleas are expected to be heard in mid-November this year.