Denmark jails Iranian-Norwegian for Iran-backed murder plot

Denmark jails Iranian-Norwegian for Iran-backed murder plot
Armed police patrolling outside the courtroom in Roskilde on Friday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP
Danish judges jailed an Iranian-Norwegian man for seven years on Friday for his part in a plot to assassinate an opponent of the Tehran government.
Mohammad Davoudzadeh Loloei, a 40-year-old Norwegian resident, was convicted of “complicity in an assassination attempt” against a separatist leader, according to the ruling obtained by AFP.
   
The target of the attempted assassination, a member of a separatist group known as the Arab Movement for the Struggle for the Liberation of Ahvaz, was reportedly wanted by authorities in Iran.
   
The trial heard that the accused had secretly filmed the targeted man, Habib Yabor Kabi, and his wife at home in Copenhagen in September 2018.   
 
Davoudzadeh Lololei then sent the footage to a man called “Sajjadi”, whom the court said was a “proven” Iranian intelligence agent.
 
Shortly afterwards, intelligence officers and police mounted a huge operation to thwart the assassination, bringing the Nordic nation to a standstill.
   
“The accused should have realised that through his research and observations, he was helping an Iranian intelligence service (…) in the murder,” the judges concluded.
 
   
Denmark has said the foiled assassination was ordered by Iran in retaliation for a deadly attack in its city of Ahvaz in September 2018 — a claim Tehran has denied. Davoudzadeh Lololei was arrested in October 2018 after returning from a trip to Iran.
   
He denied the charges, claiming he was filming Kabi because he had had an affair with his ex-wife and that he had flown to Iran because his mother was seriously ill.
   
The court rejected the explanations and concluded that “the Iranian intelligence services were planning to assassinate” Habib Yabor Kabi.   
 
The verdict cited cases of assassinations of Iranian opponents in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands and Turkey.

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