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March 6, 2016

Iran measuring up white-collar nooses after sentencing three businessmen to death

As reported in this CBS piece, headlined "Iran sentences billionaire businessman to death," it seems that Iran's justice system does not view even prominent corporate executives as too big to kill.  Here are the deadly details:

An Iranian court has sentenced a well-known tycoon to death for corruption linked to oil sales during the rule of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the judiciary spokesman said Sunday.
Babak Zanjani and two of his associates were sentenced to death for "money laundering," among other charges, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi said in brief remarks broadcast on state TV. He did not identify the two associates.
Previous state media reports have said the three were charged with forgery and fraud. "The court has recognized the three defendants as 'corruptors on earth' and sentenced them to death," said Ejehi. "Corruptors on earth" is an Islamic term referring to crimes that are punishable by death because they have a major impact on society.  The verdict, which came after a nearly five-month trial, can be appealed....
Iran's prosecutors contend Zanjani withheld billions in oil revenues channeled through his companies. A news website run by the judiciary identified the two associates as British-Iranian businessman Mahdi Shams, who was detained in 2015, and the other as Hamid Fallah Heravi, a retired businessman.
Zanjani was arrested in 2013 during a crackdown on alleged corruption during Ahmadinejad's rule.  Iran's Oil Ministry says Zanjani owes more than 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion) for oil sales he made on behalf of Ahmadinejad's government.  Zanjani is one of Iran's wealthiest businessmen, with a fortune worth an estimated $14 billion. He was arrested shortly after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, who ordered a crackdown on alleged corruption during the eight-year rule of his hard-line predecessor.  In a 2013 interview with the BBC, Zanjani claimed he was not a political person, saying: "I don't do anything political, I just do business."
Iran has in the past executed other wealthy individuals found guilty of similar charges. In 2014, Iran executed billionaire businessman Mahafarid Amir Khosravi over corruption charges.

March 6, 2016 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


Well, it is still more merciful and lenient than the American approach to sentencing white collar offenders: 150 years Madoff, 112 Stanford, 835 years Sholam Weiss, and so on....

Posted by: Long lost student | Mar 6, 2016 1:42:02 PM

But to actually dxecute anyone in America, look at the time and money spent.

Maybe 10-15 yrs and millions spent. No wonder guys hang themself, knowing they are going to get the zxe, but when, when. Gag, be tough.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Mar 6, 2016 2:36:45 PM

Yea, you know what is worse than being executed? Being innocent and then being denied a hearing due to the procedurally byzantine American post-conviction justice system--I blame positivism or a blind adherence to rules, especially AEDPA, which while strengthening state rights ruined the whole notion of habeas corpus.

As for the guilty folks, I cannot imagine a fate worse than being forced to live in a cell the size of a toilet and knowing that death will come by a needle (if properly administered) or side effects of the drugs.

And that's American due process and human rights in a nutshell. Simply put, we have smoke and mirrors. I suggest Iran invest in smoke and mirrors to improve its human rights image around the world. Iran needs some AEDPA!!!!

Posted by: Long lost student | Mar 7, 2016 4:32:15 PM

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