(Al Jazeera) – The Iranian diplomat was accused of plotting a thwarted 2018 bombing of an opposition rally outside the French capital, Paris.
A Belgian court has convicted an Iranian diplomat for plotting a thwarted 2018 bombing of an exiled opposition group outside the French capital, Paris, and ordered him jailed for 20 years.
Belgian prosecution lawyers and civil parties to the prosecution on Thursday said the Vienna-based diplomat, Assadolah Assadi, was guilty of attempted “terrorism” after a plot to bomb a rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in June 2018 was foiled by German, French and Belgian police.
“The ruling shows two things: A diplomat doesn’t have immunity for criminal acts … and the responsibility of the Iranian state in what could have been carnage,” Belgian prosecution lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier told reporters outside the court in Antwerp.
The ruling marked the first trial of an Iranian official for suspected “terrorism” in the European Union since Iran’s revolution in 1979.
The court sentenced Assadi to 20 years in prison on Thursday in the first trial of an Iranian official for suspected terrorism in Europe since Iran’s 1979 revolution.
Iran’s foreign ministry “strongly condemned” the ruling, repeating its previous stance that it believes Assadi’s arrest and prosecution are illegal and violate the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.