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Iran's Bank Mellat wins ruling over British Treasury

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

The High Court in the UK passed a verdict in favor of Iran's Bank Mellat against the British Treasury, IRINN news network reported. The privately owned Iranian bank accused of providing financial services to companies engaged in the country's nuclear program, has won a "human rights" legal victory in the High Court.

Bank Mellat is fighting to overturn a Treasury ruling preventing all persons operating in the financial sector from taking part in any transaction with the bank.

Mr. Justice John Mitting, sitting in London, declared on Wednesday that, in its legal battle with the Treasury, the bank was entitled under the European Convention on Human Rights to be treated in the same way as an individual challenging a control order.

The High Court condemned the Treasury and ruled that Bank Mellat was entitled to sufficient information about the allegations being made against it to ensure a fair hearing.

The judge said the difficulty for the Treasury was in the evidence supporting the order.

He ruled that any restriction on the bank's activity resulting in the loss of shareholders' capital, is illegal and in breach of human rights.

He said the order directly impinged "on the bank's civil rights and obligations."

The judge said an order he had made for disclosure "was intended only to ensure that the bank had the opportunity of giving effective instructions about the essential allegations against it."

Nevertheless, the judge said he was giving government lawyers permission to appeal because of the importance of his decision.

Bank Mellat has branches throughout Iran and in Turkey and South Korea, as well as subsidiaries in Malaysia, Armenia and the UK.

... Payvand News - 02/26/10 ... --

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