Three Jews convicted of spying for Israel pardoned by Iran’s Supreme leader
Three Iranian Jews convicted of spying for Israel two years ago have been pardoned by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Jewish community and judicial sources stated on Sunday.
Javid Bent Yaqub, 42, Faramarz Kashi, 32, and Shahrokh Paknahad 24 - who had been serving prison terms of between eight and nine years - were freed Wednesday, Jewish community leader Haroon Yashayaiee told AFP.
A judicial source said the convicted spies had benefited from the supreme leader's pardoning of prisoners to mark the birthday of Imam Mahdi, Shiite Islam's twelfth designated successor to the Prophet Mohammad.
An estimated 742 prisoners were included in Ayatollah Khamenei's pardon. The three Jews were jailed following a controversial closed-door trial that sparked widespread global criticism and cast a shadow over the Islamic Republic’s large Jewish community.
Thirteen Iranian Jews and eight Muslims were arrested in the southern city of Shiraz back in 1999, and in July 2000 a court sentenced ten of the Jews and two of their Muslim accomplices to jail terms of between four and 13 years.
In September 2000, an appeals court reduced their sentences, and two of the convicted Jewish spies were freed after serving out their terms. Following the pardon of the three, five of the Jews still remain behind bars.(Albawaba.com)
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