In The Year 2000 There Were Seven Countries Without A Rothschild-Owned Central Bank: They were Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran.
An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for their role in a $2.8bn bank fraud, in a ruling that is set to intensify the battle between president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad and conservative opponents ahead of a crucial election next year.
On Monday, Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said four people suspected of involvement in the fraud, the country’s biggest ever, had been sentenced to death, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.
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“The judge of the big corruption case has issued a death verdict for four out of the 39 suspects,” Mr Ejei said in his weekly press briefing, declining to name the four suspects. The others have been sentenced to life imprisonment and face jail terms as long as 25 years.
The sentence is widely seen as a blow to Mr Ahmadi-Nejad, as the accused are allegedly linked to the president’s allies.
Over the past year Mr Ahmadi-Nejad has increasingly faced criticism from conservative supporters of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. Their disagreements became public when the president sacked the intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, against the supreme leader’s will, last year.
The judiciary and parliament are dominated by Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s opponents. Iranians will choose the Iranian president’s successor in June next year, in what is set to be one of the most sensitive elections since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iranian media have described billionaire Mah-Afarid Khosravi as the mastermind of the bank fraud. Mr Khosravi is alleged to be linked to Esfandiar-Rahim Mashaei, a the president’s chief of staff and a close ally. Mr Ahmadi-Nejad has previously denied any link to Mr Khosravi.
Mr Khosravi allegedly forged letters of credit from the partially state-owned Bank Saderat and gave them to seven other Iranian banks. The charges against Mr Khosravi included embezzlement, forgery, money laundering and “disruption of the economic system”. The defendants, who deny all wrongdoing, are expected to appeal.
In a further blow to Mr Ahmadi-Nejad, a court on Monday ruled that the head of Iran’s social security organisation should be dismissed. Saeed Mortazavi is a close ally of the president who played an important role in crushing the demonstrations that followed 2009’s disputed presidential election.
A parliamentary probe in 2010 found that he was responsible for the torture to death of at least three anti-government protesters. At the time he was the prosecutor-general of Tehran.
In what can be seen as a victory for opposition politicians who protested his appointment, the court said Mr Mortazavi’s appointment to the social security organisation in March was “illegal”. It is not yet clear if Mr Mortazavi will abide by the verdict to quit the job.
Ahmad Tavakkoli, a prominent anti-Ahmadi-Nejad lawmaker, described the verdicts as “auspicious for justice-seekers and law-abiders”.
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- Banker-bashing Iran style: four fraudsters sentenced to death (theweek.co.uk)
- Four sentenced to death over Iran’s biggest bank fraud (scotsman.com)
- Death penalty for Iran fraudsters (bbc.co.uk)
- Iran Sentences Four People To Death By Hanging For Their Part In A $2.6 Billion Bank Fraud by (businessinsider.com)
- Former Mossad Chief To Iranians: ‘Be Fearful Of The Next 12 Weeks’ (investmentwatchblog.com)
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So the one country that punishes corrupt bankers also had to dismiss the prosecutor-general of Tehran for torturing “at least three” anti-government protesters to death. Quite a place.
I am sure I would not want to live there but in headline terms at least Iran seems to have the right attitude to this kind of antisocial behaviour. Bank fraud and malpractice are very serious antisocial behaviour and should be treated as such. It might make some think twice before betting our shirts to gain their bonuses.
The scale of such fraud is deserving of the strongest punishment in every country. How many ordinary people face suicide, family break-up and poverty as a result of the greed of a few? How can we lock up people who steal a £1 bag of rice in London yet nobody is even charged over multi-billion pound fraud committed by the wealthy of the City?
Maybe the sentences could include Journalists who are financially biased? :)
Fred the Shred, Blankfein, the Lehman head, put them all on a plane to Tehran and give the Iranians a power of attorney to try them.
I guess the point here is are they actually guilty of fraud, or are the arrests politically motivated? I’d want to see the evidence – or are all bankers by default guilty these days?
Now that’s what I call accountability.
I hope when Freddie Goodwin reads this it doesn’t cause him to choke on his cornflakes…that would be terrible!
@Michael Barton while it’s an admirable sentiment to have, there are numerous difficulties in this. Firstly, money IS taken away from some financiers and bankers, they are called fines. And these people aren’t stupid, they know what the rules are, what they can do, how to stretch it, and most importantly, do things that aren’t illegal YET.
and of course, unless you have significant and irrefutable proof (like the recent LIBOR emails), no matter how outraged the public is, you can’t fine/jail people who have technically done no wrong.
Gee, I’ll bet that Angelo Mozzillo and Stan O’Neal are glad they don’t live in Iran.
Well, at least they are more advance than western civilization in that area, that is prosecuting banking, financial frauds. I dont think financial criminals should be hanged. I do think all their assets should be seized.
Right On !!
In the UK we should, at least, take away the money made by senior bankers who have acted against the rules and indeed the morals of society at large. Too many have have taken too much and the confiscation of personal wealth is a great way to the heart of the matter. Once people know what is at stake they may revise their activities. Of course, the same applies to politicians everywhere.
Finally, someone has got the guts to do what needs to be done.
Unlike you-know-where, torture leads to people to losing their jobs – not enough, but better than getting promoted.
They could teach the SEC a few things…
At last, a country with the guts to deal effectively with crooked bankers. Just a pity that it is Iran planning to stretch necks pour encourager les autres.