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Four Iranians Face Trial Before Belgian Judiciary

Four Iranians Face Trial Before Belgian Judiciary

Sunday, 11 October, 2020 - 08:00
Belgian police special forces patrol after an area of the Forest commune that had been closed by them in Brussels, Belgium February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

This November will witness the trial of an Iranian group charged with planning an attack on a rally of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) at the end of June in Villepinte.

The meeting was attended by some 25,000 individuals including international prominent figures.

The rally was also attended by leading US figures, including President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and other close allies of Trump.

Assadolah Assadi is the central figure in this case. This 49-year-old man was a diplomat in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, before being appointed third secretary at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, in 2014. According to State Security, he mainly acted on behalf of the “Department 312”, a service of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) which appears on the list of organizations classified as terrorist by the European Union.

During his military training, Assadi was notably introduced to the manufacture of explosives and his main mission was to collect information on Iranian opponents, in liaison with the foreign ministry.

In case the charges were confirmed, the four will be handed over a life-imprisonment sentence.

Assadi was arrested while on holiday in Germany and handed over to Belgium, where two of his suspected accomplices had been arrested with 500 grams (one lb) of TATP, an explosive, as well as a detonation device.

Le Mond reported that Assadi showed no cooperation with the Belgium investigation. Not only that, but he also warned authorities of possible retaliation by unidentified groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen if he is found guilty.

Assadollah’s lawyer, Dimitri de Beco, denied his client was making threats.

“It is absolutely not a threat of retaliation and if it’s understood that way it’s a misinterpretation,” he told Reuters. “He will explain the sense of his remarks to the court.”

Jaak Raes, head of the Belgian State Security Service, revealed on Feb. 20 that the terrorist attack wasn’t a personal initiative by Assadi but was pushed by Iran.

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