Iranian court upholds jail sentences for former central bank officials

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An Iranian court upheld the jail sentences issued in 2021 against a former governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and his deputy for “disrupting” the country’s economic system, Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary reported on Saturday.

   A branch of Tehran’s Islamic Revolution Court rejected the appeals of Valiollah Seif and Ahmad Araqchi, the former CBI governor and his deputy, to the Supreme Court of Iran against the first rulings, according to the report.

   After reviewing the case, the court found the two former officials guilty of having “interfered” in the country’s unofficial foreign currency market, which is equivalent to the crime of smuggling foreign currencies, it added.

   In October 2021, Valiollah Seif and Ahmad Araqchi were sentenced respectively to 10 and eight years in prison for interfering in the country’s currency system in 2017 and 2018.

   In addition to Seif and Araqchi, the Islamic Revolution Court also upheld the jail sentences given in 2021 to three other individuals involved in the case, the report said.

   According to the final rulings, all the five defendants were sentenced to pay heavy fines, Mizan added.

   The Iranian Donya-e-Eqtesad daily estimated the total amount of the fines levied on Seif and Araqchi is about 30.18 million U.S. dollars.

   Seif served as the CBI governor for five years under the administration of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani until he was fired in July 2018.

   Before he was arrested, Araqchi served as Seif’s deputy for foreign currency affairs for two years from 2017 to 2018. 

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