Eight Muslims accused along with 13 Iranian Jews of spying for Israel were providing the Jewish state with information on Arabs living in Iran, a judiciary official said Tuesday, quoted by the Associated Press.
The Muslim defendants were giving Israel information on Palestinian and Lebanese residents in Iran. It was very important information, said judiciary chief Hossein Amiri in the first public comments on the charges against the eight Muslim defendants.
Amiri said that five of the eight Muslim defendants had been summoned to court, but he gave no other details.
The AP quoted Amiri as saying defense lawyers for the 10 main Jewish defendants finished arguing their case Monday. The trial now turns to the prosecution, which is led by the judge in the revolutionary court trying the case. A verdict will be issued one week after arguments end.
Defense lawyers for the Iranian Jews told reporters that the accused should be acquitted because of insufficient evidence. They also question the fairness of the revolutionary court where the judge is also the prosecutor and there is no jury.
Three other Jews accused in the same trial are free on bail, presumably because the charges against them are less serious.
Eight of the 13 Jews have pleaded guilty. Four, including the three on bail, have pleaded innocent, and one said he passed information to Israel, but believed that his actions did not amount to espionage.
The trial has generated international concern. The United States has said the outcome could affect its policy toward Iran. Israel has denied that any of the 13 were its spies, said the agency – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)