Iran Lifts Death Sentence for American 'Spy'

Amir Mirzai Hekmati's case wasn't 'complete': high court
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2012 10:20 AM CST
A Dec. 27, 2011 file photo of a video frame grab image made from the Iranian broadcaster IRIB TV shows US citizen Amir Mirzaei Hekmati in Tehran's revolutionary court.   (AP Photo/IRIB/File)

(Newser) – Iran's Supreme Court judges have overturned an American's death sentence for alleged spying, saying that his case was "not complete." The high court has handed Amir Mirzai Hekmati's case to an affiliate court, the BBC reports. Hekmati was convicted of "co-operating with a hostile nation, membership of the CIA, and trying to implicate Iran in terrorism" in January; the US says it's "simply not true" that the Iranian-American national worked with the intelligence agency.

Hekmati, a former US Marine, had appeared on Iranian state TV apparently confessing to a CIA plot. But "there were objections to the verdict by the Supreme Court," a judiciary rep said today. "The court said it was not complete, disaffirmed it, and sent it to another branch of the investigation." (Read more Iran stories.)

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