Main Suspect Confesses in Iranian Jews Trial
The main suspect in the trial of 13 Iranian Jews, Hamid Tefilin, confessed Monday before the Shiraz revolutionary court to the charge of spying for Israel, his lawyer told AFP.
"Hamid Tefilin has admitted the facts against him. He told the court of links with Israel for spying purposes," Ismael Nasseri said.
Tefilin appeared with nine other accused at the Shiraz court Monday on the second day of the closed-door trial. Three other defendants, free on bail, were not required to be present.
The trial resumed Monday behind closed doors in this southern city, with prosecutors expected to detail the state's case for the first time, said Reuters Monday.
It added that a leader of Iran's Jewish community, which is the largest in the Muslim Middle East, said the suspects were deeply religious and had nothing to do with politics or espionage.
"These people are well-known for their extremism in religious issues, they are overtly religious and we can even say they are more Catholic than the Pope," said Manouchehr Eliasi, outgoing Jewish representative to parliament.
"There is no way they can be accused of attempting to struggle against the system by spying," he said before the hearing began.
A first hearing in the case was held on April 13, but Judge Sadeq Nourani adjourned the case until May 1, after the Jewish holiday of Passover.
At the time the Shiraz judiciary said four of the 13 had admitted spying for Israel and had asked the court for mercy. Eight Muslims were also detained, although little is known of their fate. Defense lawyers denied any confessions were made - (Agencies)
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