Iran begins trial of Swedish EU employee on charges of spying for Israel

2023-12-10 22:40:14, Kosova & Bota CNA

Iran begins trial of Swedish EU employee on charges of spying for Israel

Iran said on Sunday it had started the trial of a Swedish national employed by the European Union, who is accused of spying for Israel and "corruption on earth", a crime punishable by death.

Sweden announced on Saturday that the trial of Johan Floderus, who was arrested in April 2022 while on holiday in Iran, had begun, but did not clarify the charges against him.

Iran's Mizan news agency said in an online report on Sunday that the trial of Mr. Floderus had begun on charges of "corruption on the ground, activities against national security and extensive espionage cooperation with the Zionist regime," meaning Israel. Corruption on land is a serious offense under Iran's Islamic laws.

"Johan Floderus has been arrested arbitrarily and all charges are false," a spokesman for Sweden's foreign ministry said in an emailed comment to the Reuters news agency on Sunday. "We have made this clear to Iran at different levels and times, most recently yesterday."

Mr. Floderus' family has said that he was arrested "without any justifiable cause or due process."

Rights groups and Western governments have accused the Islamic Republic of trying to secure political concessions from other countries through arrests on security charges that may be trumped up. Tehran says the arrests are based on its penal code and denies detaining people for political reasons.

Relations between Sweden and Iran have been strained since 2019 when Sweden arrested a former Iranian official for his role in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in Iran in the 1980s. He was sentenced to life in prison last year. , prompting Iran to withdraw its envoy to Sweden in protest.

Iran says that Mr. Floderus had used the projects of American and European institutions to collect secret information about Israel, while he said that another hearing will be announced soon./ VOA

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