Tehran condemns Swedish murder verdict against Iran ex-official

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Tehran on Thursday dismissed as “political” a Swedish court verdict sentencing a former Iranian prison official to life for crimes committed during a 1988 purge of dissidents.

Hamid Noury, 61, was convicted in Sweden of a “serious crime against international law” and “murder” in the first trial related to the mass executions.

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Tehran “strongly condemns this political statement, which consists of making unfounded and fabricated accusations against Iran and its judicial system, along with the life sentence against Hamid Noury,” Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The case related to the killing of at least 5,000 prisoners across Iran, to avenge attacks carried out by exiled opposition group the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) at the end of the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.

The proceedings, which have been running since August 2021, have strained relations between Sweden and Iran.

“Iran holds Sweden responsible for the damage caused to bilateral relations,” the ministry statement added.

According to the court, Noury was an assistant prosecutor in a prison near Tehran at the time of the events.

But Noury argued that he was on leave during the period in question, that he worked in another prison, and decried the accusations as a plot by the MEK to discredit Iran.

Noury’s lawyer Thomas Soderqvist said he would appeal.

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