Mehdi Abrishamchi, deputy leader of the anti-Iran Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as MEK, PMOI and NCRI), went on trial in France on terrorism and financial corruption charges.
The court hearing for MKO’s number two was held in a Paris court on May 7 while a large number of former MKO members staged a sit-in outside the courtroom in support of Abrishamchi’s trial, demanding his imprisonment, Habilian Association reported.
The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajaei, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by the MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.