Iran sentences Belgian national to 40 years in prison, 74 lashes | Prison News

Relations between Iran and Belgium have more and more soured following the arrest of an Iranian diplomat in 2018 over bomb-plot allegations.

Tehran, Iran – A courtroom in Iran has sentenced a Belgian nationwide to a complete of 40 years in jail, dozens of lashes, and monetary penalties for spying and different costs.

Former assist employee Olivier Vandecasteele acquired the preliminary sentences, which might later be appealed, on 4 costs, in line with the official information outlet of the Iranian judiciary.

For every of the principle two costs, specifically spying for foreign intelligence services and “cooperating with the hostile United States authorities in opposition to the Islamic Republic”, he acquired 12.5 years in jail.

For “skilled smuggling of international forex” within the quantity of $500,000, Vandecasteele was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail, 74 lashes, and a $1m nice.

Lastly, he was discovered responsible of laundering the cash he’s accused of smuggling, for which the Tehran Revolutionary Courtroom selected a 12.5-year jail sentence.

Vandecasteele, 41, has been imprisoned in Iran since February. His household mentioned final month that he received a jail sentence of 28 years.

Final week, the semiofficial Tasnim information web site quoted an unnamed supply claiming he entered Iran “underneath the duvet of humanitarian efforts with the goal of spying for the hostile US authorities and distributing cash to teams lively in anti-security fields”.

Vandecasteele denied all the fees. Belgian authorities have beforehand condemned Vandecasteele’s imprisonment, calling it “unlawful”.

Tehran has been accused of imprisoning foreigners and twin nationals to make use of them as political bargaining chips, a cost it denies.

Relations between Iran and Belgium have more and more soured following the arrest of an Iranian diplomat, Asadollah Assadi, in 2018. He was accused of main a bombing plot in France.

Iran and the West have additionally intensified their rhetoric in opposition to one another since protests erupted throughout Iran in mid-September following the demise of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the nation’s morality police for alleged non-compliance with a compulsory gown code for girls and subsequently died in police custody.

Tehran and the European Union have additionally imposed sanctions in opposition to one another.

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