Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei

The spokesman for Iran’s judiciary says the court has issued sentences for 39 people accused in the case of the great $3-billion bank fraud, adding that foreign authorities have failed to extradite the former Melli Bank chief who fled the country when the case was exposed.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, Iran’s Prosecutor General and spokesman for the judiciary, announced today that after 13 months the court has issued sentences for the accused, and they have 20 days to appeal their sentencing, IRNA reported.

News of the $3-billion bank fraud case, which involved the sale of fraudulent letters of credit, hit the media last summer. Soon after, the head of Melli Bank, Mahmoudreza Khavari, fled the country and settled in Canada, where he already held citizenship.

Khavari has recently made statements to the effect that he is innocent. Iran’s Prosecutor General insisted that Khavari should come and stand trial in order to clarify the affair and establish his innocence.

“Unfortunately, INTERPOL and the country where he is now residing have not been cooperative in his extradition despite their claims about their fight against money laundering,” Mohseni Ejei was quoted as saying.