Trial of British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held in Iran, says lawyer

Trial of British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held in Iran, says lawyer
Trial of British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe was held in Iran, says lawyer

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen in an undated photograph handed out by her family. — Ratcliffe Family Handout via Reuters

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DUBAI, March 14 — The trial of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at Iran’s Revolutionary court was held today, her lawyer Hojjat Kermani told the Iranian Emtedad website, hoping she would be acquitted from the charge of “propaganda against the system”.

“Her trial was held at branch 15 of the Revolutionary court. Her charge is propaganda against the system,” Kermani was quoted as saying by the website.

“The trial was held in a calm atmosphere with the presence of my client ... The legal defence was made and the final defence was taken ... I am very hopeful that she will be acquitted.”

The Iranian Judiciary was not immediately available to comment.

Iran had released Zaghari-Ratcliffe from house arrest last Sunday at the end of a five-year prison sentence, but she had been summoned to court again on the other charge.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 and later convicted of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who served out most of her sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison, was released last March during the coronavirus pandemic and kept under house arrest, but her movements were restricted and she was barred from leaving the country.

Last Sunday, Iranian authorities removed her ankle tag, but she could not leave the country.

British foreign minister Dominic Raab welcomed the removal of the ankle tag but said Iran continued to put Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family through a “cruel and an intolerable ordeal”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a call with Iranian Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be allowed to return home to her family.

Iranian media reported that during the call, Rouhani raised the issue of a 400-million-pound historical debt which Tehran says Britain owes the Islamic Republic in capital and interest for a 1970s arms deal with the then-Shah of Iran. — Reuters

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