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Iran: Two judicial officials arrested over $2.6B fraud case

Source: Mehr News Agency

Two former judicial officials have been arrested in connection with a $2.6 billion financial fraud case, Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeii announced on Monday.

Related Report: Iran falls to 168 in Corruption Perception Index 2009

"Two persons, who used to be in the judicial apparatus but then opted out of the apparatus and started working as attorneys, have been arrested in the case, one of whom formerly served at the justice administration office of Khuzestan" Province, which is located in southwest Iran, Mohseni-Ejeii stated during his regular press briefing.

So far, nine court sessions in the trial of the defendants accused of involvement in the fraud case have been held in Tehran.

The Arya Investment Company is at the center of the controversy, and Mah-Afarid Amir-Khosravi, who is one of the main owners of the company, is the number one suspect in the case.

Asked about Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former managing director of Bank Melli Iran, who fled to Canada after the fraud case was uncovered, Mohseni-Ejeii stated that he will be tried in absentia.

Mohseni-Ejeii, who is also the national prosecutor general, added, "His case is being completed and will be sent to the court. We would like Khavari to return because it would have been in his interests if he had been tried. And that would have been better than his current situation."

"We are still pursuing the issue through Interpol and the country of Canada. The issue would be a litmus test for the self-proclaimed advocates of campaigns against corruption, money laundering, and economic terrorism," he stated in an indirect reference to Canada.

Khavari is one of the main suspects in the case, he said, adding, "It should be asked why Canada and Interpol are not able to hand him over. We provided them with every document they had asked for. We even provided them with documents in the case which show that he had received money on several occasions."

The Iranian Judiciary spokesman also announced that indictments have been issued for 12 other suspects in the case.

... Payvand News - 05/08/12 ... --

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