Regime steps up pressure on former President despite Ahmadinejad’s threat to disclose documents
The battle between former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran’s judiciary surged on Wednesday with the 63-year sentence of Ahmadinejad’s former Vice President Hamid Baghaei.
Baghaei was punished for misuse of public funds while he was in office between 2011 and 2013. It follows years of legal pressure, including his detention for months in 2015 and briefly last July.
Last month Ahmadinejad was also convicted by Parliament’s Audit Court of diverting $3 billion in Government revenues. He was ordered to repay the money, although there is no mechanism for enforcement.
Baghaei’s followed the latest round in the feud between Ahmadinejad and the Larijani brothers, including head of judiciary Sadeq Larijani, Speaker of Parliament Ali, and senior judiciary official Mohammad Javad.
While in office, Ahmadinejad accused the Larijanis of corruption, including in a dramatic speech on the floor of Parliament as Ali Larijani looked on. He has reguarly returned the allegations since leaving office in 2013.
Last weekend Ahmadinejad, in a video statement, issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the publication of any documents about legal cases which have been filed against him. He said that, if Sadeq Larijani did not comply, he would release incriminating evidence about the judiciary.
Larijani responded with an order to his staff to produce some of the documents, but he jabbed at Ahmadinejad’s camp, claiming that “fake news” and information based on “human rights excuses” had presented some of the “convicts” as “heroes”.
Ahmadinejad did not produce his “incriminating evidence”, and the case was overtaken yesterday by Baghaei’s sentence.
Sentenced to Death, Academic “Confesses” After Threat to Kill His Children
Academic Ahmadreza Djalali, sentenced to death in Iran, has said that he made a forced “confession” after a threat to kill his children.
According to Jalali’s wife Vida Mehrannia, the doctor and lecturer at a Stockholm university was held under extreme duress in solitary confinement and threatened with harm to his family if he did not comply with interrogators’ demands.
The Iranian regime has proclaimed that Jalali, a Swedish resident who was seized in April 2016 during a visit at the invitation of the University of Tehran, helped the Israeli intelligence service Mossad in its assassination of four nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012.
Jalali says he was detained because he refused to spy for the Intelligence Ministry. Other political prisoners who lived abroad, including the physicist Omid Kokabee, have given similar statements.
The death sentence on Jalali, an emergency medicine specialist and physician, was upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court on December 5, 2017. State TV then justified the penalty with a broadcast which included the “confession”.