Iran issues verdict for Iranian-American journalist

Iranian court issues its verdict for American journalist Jason Rezaian who has been in jail since July 2014 for alleged espionage

Photo by: Social Media
Photo by: Social Media

Jason Rezaian - Archive

An Iranian court has issued a verdict in the espionage trial of Iranian-American journalist, Jason Rezaian on Sunday but details were not announced. It could not be confirmed if Rezaian is convicted or acquitted.

Verdict comes two months after the final hearing, which was on August 10.

The announcement says the verdict could possibly be appealed and it is not final.

"The ruling on this case has been issued. There is still the possibility of this ruling being appealed, and it is not final," judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said in a televised news conference.

Iranian government had accused Rezaian of collecting confidential information, handing it to “hostile governments” and writing letters to US President Barack Obama. The Washington Post, whom Rezaian works for described the trial against its journalist as a “sham trial”.

"We have no further information at this time and it is not clear whether this ruling includes a verdict or a sentence - or even whether its contents have been communicated to Jason or his lawyer," Post Executive Editor, Martin Baron said in a statement.

The Washington Post encouraged the UN Human Rights Council to help with the release of Rezaian, who holds American and Iranian citizenships.    

Rezaian was Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran, until his arrest in July 2014 along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, he had spent several months in jail before the start of his trial. 

Iranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani hinted at the possibility of releasing Rezaian and other detained American citizens, Saedd Abedini and Amir Hekmati, in exchange for Iranian prisoners in the US, however US officials have discarded the possibility of any such swap.

TRTWorld and agencies