Iran billionaire tycoon Zanjani sentenced to death for corruption
TEHRAN – Agence France-PresseIran's billionaire tycoon Babak Zanjani has been sentenced to death for corruption, a judicial official said March 6, after a trial in which he was accused of fraudulently pocketing $2.8 billion.
Zanjani became notorious during the era of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, finding ways to channel hard currency to Tehran despite financial sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic's banks as punishment for its nuclear program.
Zanjani was convicted of fraud and economic crimes and as well as facing the death penalty he must also pay money to the state in restitution, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie said at his weekly press conference.
The Islamic court convicted the defendants of "spreading corruption on earth", a capital offence, and ordered them to repay funds embezzled from, among others, state-run National Iranian Oil Company, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said on live television.
The defendants can appeal against the ruling.