Iran sentences ex-judiciary official to 31 years in prison for corruption

The Iranian authorities has sentenced Akbar Tabari, a former high-ranking judiciary official, to 31 years in prison on charges of “setting up and heading a bribery network,” Al Arabiya reports.

The trial of Tabari opened in June alongside 21 other defendants.

In its judgment of 12 September Criminal Court in Tehran ordered Tabari fined more than $ 1.65 million dollars.

In addition, Tabari was convicted of money laundering, for which he was sentenced to pay another $ 2.3 million.

The court also seized Tabari’s property, including four apartments in northern Tehran, two business venues in the center of the capital, and five plots of land in a popular northern tourist resort.

Tabari served in a number of senior roles in Iran’s judiciary, including as the head of executive affairs and executive deputy under then judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani from 2009 to 2019.

In March 2019, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei replaced Larijani with Ebrahim Raisi, a religious conservative and urged him to fight against corruption.

Raisi sacked Tabari eight days after taking office without providing a reason.

Two other suspects on trial, Farhad Mashayekh Fereydoun and Rasool Danialzadeh, were sentenced to 15 years each in prison for participating in corruption.

Two former judges, Bijan Qasemzadeh and Hamidreza Alizadeh, were also convicted of peddling influence and receiving bribes. They were each sentenced to 10 years’ jail.

A scandal was added to this investigation following the unexplained death of a fugitive Iranian judge in July also featured in the case.

Gholamreza Mansouri, 52, had fled Iran last year, first going to Germany and then moving to Romania.

He plunged from a top floor of his hotel in Bucharest with his death considered to be a suicide.

Mansouri was wanted over receiving a 500,000-euro ($592,000) bribe.