Iranian 1988 war mass executioner jailed after being ‘lured to Sweden in sightseeing sting’

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Iranian prison official Hamid Noury (L) and attorney Thomas Soderqvist during the war crime trial against Noury who is being questioned in Stockholm District Court, Stockholm (TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima)
Iranian prison official Hamid Noury (L) and attorney Thomas Soderqvist during the war crime trial against Noury who is being questioned in Stockholm District Court, Stockholm (TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima)

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in the late 80s Iran-Iraq war after being convicted of grave war crimes and murder.

Hamid Noury is set to spend a minimum of 20 years behind bars in Sweden after Swedish news agency TT said he was lured to Sweden, believing he would go sightseeing, meet women and attend parties.

Stockholm District Court also ruled he should be expelled from the country should he ever be released from prison.

Noury was lured to Sweden for what he thought was a sightseeing trip (via REUTERS)
Noury was lured to Sweden for what he thought was a sightseeing trip (via REUTERS)

Noury, who can appeal the verdict, worked as assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison outside the Iranian city of Karaj.

The court said 61-year-old Noury participated "in the executions of many political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988" and had "the role of assistant to the deputy prosecutor" at the prison "jointly and in collusion with others (who had) been involved in the executions".

The acts were deemed as a serious crime against international law, the court said.

Noury has denied the charges.

Amnesty International has put the number executed on government orders at around 5,000, saying in a 2018 report that "the real number could be higher". Iran has never acknowledged the killings.

Judge Tomas Zander said Noury had claimed the evidence against him had (been) fabricated" by the Mujahedin who "wrongly accused him of participating in a fabricated course of events for political gains".

"However, nothing substantial has emerged which gives the court reason to question the investigation's reliability and robustness," Judge Zander said.

Noury has said he will appeal the verdict (REUTERS)
Noury has said he will appeal the verdict (REUTERS)

"We are of course disappointed," defence lawyers Thomas Soderqvist and Daniel Marcus told the Swedish news agency TT.

They said they would appeal against the verdict.

The verdict comes at a tense time for the ties between Stockholm and Tehran.

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