Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, son of former Iranian president and powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in Tehran on March 22, 2005
Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, son of former Iranian president and powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in Tehran on March 22, 2005 © - FARS News/File
Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, son of former Iranian president and powerful cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in Tehran on March 22, 2005
AFP
Last updated: June 11, 2015

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

The son of Iran's former president Akbar 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 jail 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 accused of involvement in massive protests that followed Iran's 2009 disputed presidential election, won by hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

At the time, Hashemi backed the so-called Green Movement led by reformist presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who denounced massive voting fraud.

Threatened with arrest, Hashemi left for Britain.

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 now considered a moderate close to the reformist camp.

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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