Lawyer: Iran to let French academic leave country

Clotilde Reiss was convicted of spying, but will be allowed to leave the country after paying a $300,000 fine.

May 16, 2010 04:34
1 minute read.
Clotilde Reiss

Clotilde Reiss 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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TEHRAN, Iran— A French academic arrested in Iran following last year's disputed presidential elections will be allowed to leave the country after paying a $300,000 fine, her lawyer said Saturday.

Mohammad Ali Mahdavi Sabet told The Associated Press that Clotilde Reiss, 25, will retrieve her passport on Sunday and will be able to leave Iran immediately.

Reiss was convicted of provoking unrest and spying in the aftermath of the June election, but the 10-year jail term had been commuted to a fine of $300,000. He said he paid the fine on Saturday.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said he took note of the decision and said France was "awaiting her return without delay." He did not elaborate.

Reiss was arrested in July and released on bail after a month and a half in custody but only on condition that she remain at the French Embassy in Tehran until her trial was over.

She also was among more than 100 politicians, journalists and activists accused of trying to engineer a "velvet revolution" to overthrow the Islamic leadership in August. She pleaded innocent.

The lawyer said the court verdict was issued Saturday.

"The case is now over. She will get her passport back tomorrow and will be allowed to leave the country," he said.

The verdict came a week after Majid Kakavand, an Iranian detained in France on accusations he evaded export controls to purchase technology over the Internet to sell to Iran's military, was allowed to leave France and return home.

The United States had been seeking Kakavand's extradition, but a French court rejected the request last week. The US claimed he went online to purchase sensitive US electronics and had them shipped to Malaysia, then on to Iranian military entities.

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