Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Belgian court gives green light to extradition of jailed Iranian diplomat

A court in Belgium has authorized the government to extradite Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who has been jailed in the European country in violation of international law on diplomatic immunity, to the Islamic Republic.

Belgian daily Het Niewsblad reported on Tuesday that a court of first instance in Brussels prepared the legal ground for extraditing Assadi to Iran as part of an agreement between Brussels and Tehran on exchanges of prisoners.

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

He is accused of trying to orchestrate an attack on the anti-Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist group’s members in Europe. Iran has roundly rejected the accusation.

In July, the Belgian parliament ratified the agreement that allows prisoner exchanges with Iran, facilitating the extradition of Assadi.

Opponents are, however, resorting to the country’s judicial authorities to block Assadi’s extradition as part of the agreement.

An appeal against such an extradition has been filed at the Belgian Constitutional Court. The motion asks for annulling the ratified law and immediately suspending its application.

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