Babak Zanjani Gets More Time

Babak Zanjani Gets More TimeBabak Zanjani Gets More Time

The infamous oil billionaire Babak Zanjani was granted a month’s time on Tuesday in the highly-publicized fraud case in which he and two other defendants are in the dock in Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

At the 24th session on December 20, 2015, the court had set a month’s deadline for Zanjani to pay all his debts to the Oil Ministry.

Talking to IRNA, his lawyer Rasoul Kouhpayhzadeh said the 25th court session was held a month sooner even though he had requested for a longer break.

Asked whether Zanjani is paying up his dues, he said “the issue is being followed up and the court has been informed of the matter.” All sessions, except one, were open.

Zanjani, 41, was arrested on December 30, 2013, on charges of corruption. One of Iran’s wealthiest businessmen, he is said to be worth an estimated $14 billion.

He and the two other respondents face money laundering charges lodged in a 40,000-page lawsuit which led to his indictment. The two other defendants are facing charges of complicity in money laundering, forgery and fraud.

Zanjani was jailed when charges were brought up against him for misappropriating two billion euros belonging to the Oil Ministry.

He has claimed that he is a patriot and “just a businessman” who helped the country bypass the economic and banking sanctions imposed on Iran by the US, UN and the EU over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.    There have been regular reports in the local media about his close association with high places and vested interests in Tehran that actually helped him to amass the huge amount of wealth in a short period.