Henry Leclerc, Maryam Rajavi, NCRI President
French lawyers have hailed the final dismissal of all charges against the National Council of Resistance of Iran 12 years after their offices were raided by the French police.
The NCRI’s Paris headquarter and homes of its members were stormed by 1,300 armed officers on June 17, 2003, with many arrested and property confiscated or destroyed.
It later emerged that the French Foreign Minister had discussed the raid with his Iranian counterpart in the weeks before it was carried out, leading to claims the NCRI was victimised at the bidding of the regime.
After years of investigation, a French judge found that the NCRI and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were engaged in legitimate resistance against a brutal tyranny and not terrorism.
A separate investigation into alleged financial crimes has now also cleared the NCRI of all charges.
Lawyers Henry Leclerc, William Bourdon, Patrick Baudouin, Thierry Levy, Bernard Dartevelle, Marie-Laure Barre and Francois Serres have now welcomed the end of an ‘extraordinary and unacceptable legal saga’ which ‘brutally stigmatised’ NCRI members.
Their statement added: “Keen observers had noticed that the opening of this procedure was directly related to what was seen at the time as the political and commercial agenda of France.
“Indeed, we recall that the Paris prosecutor’s office when facing the collapse of terrorism charges had asked the judges to expand their investigation into financial crimes.
“In both cases, orders of dismissal have been rendered. And in both cases, the so-called charges laid against our clients were broken into pieces.
“The harm arising from this procedure is obviously considerable. It was made possible only by the appeasing attitude of the French government at that time that bowed to a strategy of exploitation conducted by the mullahs in Tehran.
“This decision is a relief as well as a source of great sadness in the face of an injustice that has severely undermined the image, reputation and integrity of a movement whose sole purpose is to struggle for democracy and peace. This decision also shows that all the allegations against the Iranian resistance members were unfounded.”