Monday 16 September 2019

Two decades in jail demanded for murder of Iranian electrician Ali Motamed

Prosecutors have called for a two-decade jail sentence for two men suspected of killing electrician Ali Motamed in 2015.

The two men on trial are 36-year-old Moreo M. and 29-year-old Anouar B., from Amsterdam. Prosecutors have called for a 22-year prison sentence for the first suspect and 20 years for the second, reports the NOS.

The victim, an Iranian whose real name was Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, was a prominent member of a Shi’ite opposition group and had been sentenced to death in Iran for suspected involvement in a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party in Tehran in 1981.

But although public prosecutors have said they suspected involvement from the Iranian secret service in the 2015 killing, a hearing in January revealed that no concrete link has been found.

The two suspects are thought to have been asked to commit the killing by a gang member Naoufal F, known as ‘Noffel’, who is in jail for another murder attempt.

In January, foreign minister Stef Blok told MPs that the Dutch AIVD secret service had ‘strong indications’ that Iran was involved in the killing of Motamed and that of Iranian opposition leader Ahmad Nissi, shot dead in 2017 in The Hague.

The suspicions have led to a series of tense diplomatic exchanges. The Dutch expelled two Iranian embassy staff members from The Hague after these suspicions were revealed in private last year, two members of Dutch staff were then ejected from the Dutch embassy in Tehran, and the Netherlands has now recalled its ambassador to Iran.

The European Union has also applied sanctions on Iran for suspected ‘enemy actions’ on European soil, included suspected assassination plots in Denmark and France.

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