Iranian Diplomat Convicted of Planning Terror Attack on Opposition in Belgium

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People gesture and wave former flags of Iran as they protest outside the Antwerp criminal court during the trial of four persons including an Iranian diplomate and Belgian-Iranian couple in Antwerp, on Thursday
People gesture and wave former flags of Iran as they protest outside the Antwerp criminal court during the trial of four persons including an Iranian diplomate and Belgian-Iranian couple in AntwerpCredit: Photo by DIRK WAEM / BELGA / AFP

An Iranian official on Thursday was convicted of masterminding a thwarted bomb attack against an exiled Iranian opposition group in France in 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court that rejected his claim of diplomatic immunity.

Assadollah Assadi, a Vienna-based diplomat detained in Belgium, refused to testify during his trial last year, invoking his diplomatic status. He did not attend the hearing at the Antwerp courthouse.

Prosecutors had requested the maximum prison sentence of 20 years on charges of attempted terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.

Assadi’s lawyer said his client contested all the charges against him.

Three other suspects also received jail sentences.

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