Economy, Business And Markets

Experts Welcome Move to Launch Special Financial Court

Experts Welcome Move to Launch Special Financial Court Experts Welcome Move to Launch Special Financial Court

Legal experts have welcomed the establishment of specialized courts to tackle financial cases, saying a vacuum had been felt in this regard in the judicial system over the years.

Tehran’s general prosecutor announced earlier that a financial crimes unit would soon be launched at the public prosecutor’s office.

Jamshid Noorshargh, an attorney and a university law professor, told Shargh newspaper on Tuesday that the need for a specialized judicial body to tackle financial crimes and scams had been felt for years.

“Hearing these cases in general courts as it has been the norm in the past is not efficient due to both court congestion and the diversity of issues to be heard”, Noorshargh said but added that this measure alone would not be enough and called for the creation of special appeal courts and more technical judicial committees to address financial cases.

Noorshargh, however, said “not much can be expected from these courts in their early days since experience plays an important role in this area”.

He suggested the valuable expertise of the Economic Crimes Complex which is already operating in the legal system be shared with the new judges in the forthcoming financial crimes unit.

Among other experts praising the move was Mohammad Ranjbar Fallah, former CEO of Bank Tejarat. He said it has always been a concern for banks that financial and banking cases are heard by judges who have no expertise in the field.

“Although the judicial branch looking into economic crimes has been around for a couple of years, establishing a financial crimes unit would expedite the process for settling such cases”, Ranjbar Falalh said.

He added that the Central Bank of Iran should review the financial cases and implement its disciplinary policies in advance so as to prevent “overlapping” and “confusion” in the legal process.  “When misconduct is perpetrated by a banking official, first the CBI should be notified and then the case be sent to financial courts”, he maintained.  

Ranjbar Fallah also expressed hope that with the launch of financial courts, the case of ‘non-performing loans’ which is a huge headache for banks will be addressed in a better way since “many debtors are dodging their responsibilities to repay their loans”.  

 Judicial Decision

On Sunday, Tehran General Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said one of the policies of the prosecutor’s office is to create specialized courts to handle crimes and that financial courts would be one of them, IRIB News reported.    

“It is no longer feasible to resolve all the cases with a few general courts, especially in the banking and money sector, where we are facing inadequacies,” Dolatabadi told general and revolutionary courts’ judges.

He added that more judges should be trained to deal with financial, banking, currency and customs violations.

In recent years, the judiciary has been dealing with some high-profile financial scams unprecedented in decades. Dolatabadi said a new prosecution division will also be created to deal with the phenomenon known as ‘land grabbing’, which has also gained momentum in recent years.

“Just as we established specialized units for the media, security, drugs and medical cases in the past, we need to establish similar units on financial and banking issues to hear legal disputes relating to the stock market, insurance and money-laundering”, he added.

Referring to the famous fraud trial of Amir Mansour Aria , Dolatabadi said that case “kept us busy for several years”, adding that the judges involved in the landmark case had faced many impediments in their investigations.  

Mahafarid Amir-Khosravi, also known as Mansour Aria was at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam and was executed in May 2014 after being convicted of fraud that was said to be the biggest scam in the country’s history.