Monday, August 15, 2022

Belgian court suspends extradition of Iranian diplomat

An appeals court in the Belgian capital, Brussels, has issued a ruling, suspending the extradition of Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi, who has been apprehended in contravention of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The court has set a €500,000 fine for violating its verdict.

A court hearing is scheduled to be held this Wednesday when the Belgian government should explain the reasons behind the urgency of the transfer of Assadi.

The development comes as the Belgian Parliament passed an extradition treaty with Iran two days ago following discussions, arguments and mass opposition from the lawmakers.

The legislation was approved with 79 votes in favor, 41 against and 11 abstentions.
However, it seems opposition groups are pushing to drag out the issue, take it out of the control of the executive branch and throw the ball into the Judiciary’s court.

Assadi, a diplomat with the Iranian embassy in Austria, was on vacation near the city of Aschaffenburg in Bavaria, Germany, on July 2, 2018 when he was apprehended in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by the European Union upon the Belgian government’s demand.

He stands accused of trying to orchestrate an attack on the anti-Iranian Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group’s members in Europe.

Iran has vigorously denied the accusation.

The Iranian diplomat has been behind bars in Belgium for two years.

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