MEK Iran: What Happened at Assadi’s Trial?
The terrorism trial of an Iranian diplomat and Intelligence agent Assadollah Assadi began on Friday in Belgium, but the defendant was not in court. He was represented by his lawyer, who claimed diplomatic immunity, even though Assadi handed the bomb over to his accomplices, Amir Sadouni and Nasimeh Naami, in Luxembourg and Austria, where he was stationed, already waived immunity.
Assadi is charged with plotting to bomb the 2018 Free Iran rally in Paris. He and his three accomplices – Sadouni, Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani, were arrested by European authorities on July 1, 2018, before the bomb could be planted. His “sleeper cells” are also on trial.
On Friday 27th November, the trial of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat, and three of these co-conspirators commenced. They are on trial for plotting to bomb the Iranian Resistance’s #MEK and #NCRI Free #Iran gathering just outside Paris in June 2018. #WeStand4FreeIran pic.twitter.com/zpVHwTgtAC
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 1, 2020
This is a historic case because Assadi is the first Iranian diplomat to be tried on terrorism charges in Europe, which has resulted in a political scandal that the mullahs cannot escape because the evidence points to the regime’s highest officials ordering the attack.
After the December 2017 and January 2018 uprising, the regime wanted to eliminate the main opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), so they ordered an attack on the MEK headquarters in Albania in March 2018 and the Free Iran rally in July. Both plots were foiled, preventing hundreds of deaths.
Timeline of Assadi plot
June 22, 2018: Assadi smuggled the bomb on a flight from Tehran to Vienna in his “diplomatic luggage”.
June 28, 2018: Assadi hands over the bomb loaded with 500 grams TATP to Saadouni and Naami in Luxembourg.
June 30, 2018: Saadouni and Naami are arrested by the Belgian Security service near Brussels, en route to the rally with the bomb in their bags, while Arefani was arrested by French police near the rally with only a burner phone on him, with only Assadi’s number in it.
4) The four defendants, in that case, include a high-ranking diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, who was serving as the third counselor at the #Iranian embassy in Vienna before his arrest on July 1, 2018#ShutDownIranTerrorEmbassies pic.twitter.com/VJ1EUm8dCU
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 1, 2020
July 1, 2018: Assadi is arrested in Germany en-route to Austria and police find a notebook in his car with instructions on how to charge the bomb, which was codenamed “Play Station 4”.
Both Assadi and Arefani were later extradited to Belgium, despite the Iranian regime’s incredible efforts to stop Assadi from being held accountable. This is interesting because most cartels would cut their ties to assets that got caught, either neutralizing them or claiming they had gone rogue.
Ali Majedi, former Iranian ambassador to Germany said: “We have tried hard to stop the extradition of Assadi to Belgium. But Europe came up with documents that we could not easily deny. The least it showed was that Iran was behind the whole operation.”
This is what the Belgian federal prosecutor also said.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers, representing the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and numerous prominent figures, told the court how the regime has consistently targeted and assassinated opponents abroad.
Assadi’s lawyer claimed that his client has diplomatic immunity, which he does not, and does not recognize the court, so cannot be tried. (The truth is that the regime stopped him from going to court where he wouldn’t have to answer questions.)
Summary of #Iran's 2018 bomb plot targeting the Iranian opposition NCRI gathering near Paris, the arrest of its diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi & his three accomplices, the plot, and the trial in Belgium.#ShutDownIranTerrorEmbassies
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 29, 2020
The court hearing went ahead anyway, with Rik Vanreusel, the lawyer of the NCRI, saying that freedom, democracy, and the rule of law are at stake here, so Iran’s use of diplomat-terrorists must be condemned and ended.
The Belgian prosecutors have demanded that Assadi serve 20 years in prison, Sadouni and Na’ami serve 18, and Arefani 15.
The Iranian Resistance (PMOI / MEK Iran) wrote: “For the international community, it is clear that Assadollah Assadi’s trial is not the prosecution of an individual but an entire regime and its “state-sponsored terrorism.” This is a test for Europe to end its policy of silence toward the terrorist regime of Iran and not let the mullahs’ use Europe as their base for destructive acts against opposition members and freedom activists.”