Belgian Constitutional Court Suspends Extradition of Iran Diplomat-Terrorist

Written by
Shahriar Kia

In an unprecedented ruling on December 8, the Constitutional Court of Belgium suspended the extradition of Iran’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi. This order comes following a successful legal campaign by the Iranian Resistance and prominent politicians challenging a prisoner-swap deal between Tehran and Brussels.

“The Court suspends Article 5 of the law of 30 July 2022 granting assent to the treaty of 11 March 2022, insofar as this treaty allows for the transfer to Iran of an Iranian who was convicted in Belgium for having committed a terrorist offense with the support of Iran. The Court rules on the action for annulment within three months,” the ruling reads.

Arrested in 2018 following his attempt to bomb the annual “Free Iran” of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 2018, Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2020 on charges of terrorism. He was the first career diplomat arrested in Europe in the last century. During his trial, it was revealed that prior to his arrest, Assadi managed the Iranian regime’s network of terrorism and espionage in Europe under the pretext of being the third counselor of Iran’s embassy in Vienna.

The plaintiffs of this case as well as the initial case against Asadollah Assadi include the NCRI, its president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, which was the primary target of the 2018 foiled bombing, as well as several renowned American and European politicians.

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In March 2022, the Iranian regime and the Belgian government signed a prisoner-swap deal, paving the way for Assadi’s release. Cloaked in benign humanitarian intentions, this treaty would not only allow Assadi to return to Iran but let Tehran pardon Assadi and revoke its sentencing.

Thursday’s ruling also underlines that according to article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, “The law of assent would violate the right to life of the victims insofar as it authorizes the Belgian Government to transfer to Iran a person convicted in Belgium of an attempted terrorist attack on the lives of others, with the support of Iran.”

According to the European Convention on Human Rights, “Each State must take appropriate steps to safeguard the life of persons. This includes the obligation to enforce final judicial decisions that are made in the context of the respect for the right to life.”

The ruling on December 8, once again, ratified that Assadi was “acting as an agent of the Iranian intelligence and security services,” and therefore, “Iran will not effectively execute this sentence.”

The court also referred to the Belgium Minister of Judiciary’s declaration acknowledging that even if Assadi returns to Iran, the regime “resorts to reprehensible practices (abductions, illegal detentions, and terrorist acts) and that it has exerted pressure on Belgium since the arrest of A. Assadi.”

Following Thursday’s ruling, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi sent a message welcoming this decision and added, “I congratulate this victory, esp. to the victims of terrorism, which is the outcome of our compatriots’ efforts since July. It is a step toward the international prosecution of Khamenei, Raisi, and others responsible for terrorism, executions, and massacres inside Iran and abroad.”

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