Iran sentences former vice president to 63 years in prison

2017-12-21 08:45
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and his close ally Hamid Baghaei attend a press conference. (Ebrahim Noroozi, AP, file)

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and his close ally Hamid Baghaei attend a press conference. (Ebrahim Noroozi, AP, file)

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Tehran - Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency says a former vice president has been sentenced to 63 years in prison over misuse of public funds while in office.

The sentence against Hamid Baghaei is the longest for a former official in Iran in decades. Tehran's Justice Department says the verdict was reached on Tuesday.

Baghaei was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vice president in charge of executive affairs. He was briefly detained in 2015, and his trial on corruption charges began later that year but he wasn't in custody.

In May, Baghaei applied to run for president but was rejected. He has 20 days to appeal.

The verdict comes against the backdrop of frequent criticism by Ahmadinejad and his allies against the judiciary.

Ahmadinejad on Tuesday called Iran's chief justice, Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, "incompetent".

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