Babak Zanjani, the Iranian tycoon charged with financial fraud and embezzling oil ministry funds, has accused Iran’s current oil minister and his ministry of slander and abuse of due process for political ends.
The Tasnim daily reports that Zanjani said in his defence in court on Saturday October 31 that the issue is not a matter of depositing the oil monies, the issue is that there are no adequate accounts into which the money can be deposited.
He then reportedly alleged that Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has an “orchestrated order to attack critics for political ends”.
Zanjani’s trial began one month ago, and the past three sessions were used solely to read out the indictment. One of the chief charges against Zanajani, brought up by Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, is that in the course of assisting the former administration in circumventing international sanctions, he failed to deliver to the ministry over two billion dollars in revenues generated by oil sales.
Zanjani said the ministry wanted him to open a special account to deposit the money. He added: “It is not my responsibility to open an account for them… and then they accuse me of giving them the runaround.”
In recent weeks, Zanjani’s defence team has announced that their client is prepared to pay the ministry debt and has requested an account number in order to deposit the money.
Zanjani told Judge Salavati that he believes the prosecutor’s office and the judicial system have been deceived by false reports.