Son of ex-Iran president to serve 10-year jail term

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TEHRAN (AFP): The son of Iran’s former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will be jailed for 10 years after being convicted of financial and security crimes, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie said Thursday.

In March, Mehdi Hashemi was handed three jails sentences amounting to 15 years in separate cases involving national security as well as fraud and embezzlement.

The 45-year-old, who was also ordered to pay an undisclosed fine and barred from holding public office, appealed the case but lost.

The appeals court confirmed his conviction but in line with Iranian law Hashemi will only serve the longest of the three sentences, which in his case will be 10 years, Mohseni-Ejeie told the IRNA news agency.

Hashemi had been living abroad following 2009 elections. He returned home in September 2012 but was later detained for questioning and held in custody for three months before being released on bail.

Hashemi had an earlier brush with the judiciary in the 2000s when his name emerged in cases involving Norway’s Statoil and French oil giant Total.

The oil companies were suspected of having paid bribes to secure access to Iranian hydrocarbon reserves, at a time when Hashemi was a senior official of the oil industry.

Hashemi’s father Rafsanjani served as president of the Islamic republic from 1989 to 1997.

The 80-year-old, who is widely seen as a pillar of Iranian politics, is member of powerful Expediency Council

He was barred from standing in the 2003 election because of his age but threw his support behind moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani who eventually won.

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