by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Aug 28, 2011
Iran on Sunday sentenced to death a man accused of playing a key role in the 2010 murder of a top nuclear scientist and of spying for Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"The sentence to execute the terrorist Majid Jamali Fashi ... has been issued" for the assassination of scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi, Iran's prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie said, quoted by IRNA.
Mohseni Ejeie, who is also spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, said the sentence was passed on Sunday, less than a week after the opening of Jamali Fashi's trial.
His defence lawyers have 20 days to launch an appeal.
Jamali Fashi stood trial as the main suspect in the killing of Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University who was killed in a bomb attack outside his home in January 2010.
He was accused of "Moharebe (waging war against God) using assassination as the means ... by placing a bomb-laden bike in front of Ali Mohammadi's house," the state television website reported.
It quoted the prosecutor in the trial which opened on August 23 and lasted a single session.
Jamali Fashi also faced charges of cooperating with Israel's spy agency and of having received $120,000 for passing on intelligence to Mossad, the website report added.
The Islamic republic has blamed the Jewish state and the United States for the unexplained disappearances of several of its military officials and nuclear scientists.
Western powers and Israel suspect Iran is seeking an atomic weapons capability under the guise of its civilian nuclear and space programmes, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.
British SAS hero of Iranian embassy siege dies
A no-nonsense Scot with a giant drooping moustache, "Mac", who was in his early 60s, died on Friday in Thessaloniki in Greece.
His son Serjeant Paul McAleese, 29, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan two years ago as he tried to help a fatally injured comrade. Mac's daughter said he never got over the loss.
"We can confirm the death of Mr McAleese in Greece on August 26 and are providing assistance to his next of kin at this difficult time," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We are aware of the death of John McAleese, a hero who served his country bravely and professionally in a military career that spanned many years.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
McAleese's daughter Hayley, 28, said the former Special Air Service (SAS) sergeant never got over the death of his son.
"I am sure the grief and stress he had suffered had a bearing on what has happened," she told reporters.
"He is now reunited with his son. Two great heroes taking their place in heaven."
McAleese spent 23 years in the British army, including 17 in the SAS.
In one of the defining events of the decade in Britain, millions watched live on television as McAleese and his team, dressed head to toe in black, stormed the Iranian embassy to end a six-day siege.
Six armed Iranian separatists had taken over the plush 16 Prince's Gate mission, taking 26 people hostage.
Five were released in exchange for minor concessions, but on the sixth day, they killed one hostage and threw his body out the front door.
On prime minister Margaret Thatcher's orders, the SAS went in, abseiling from the roof, blowing out the windows in a huge explosion and storming inside.
They rescued all but one of the remaining hostages and killed five of the six separatists.
The only gunman to survive concealed himself among the hostages. Once identified by a freed captive, some reports suggest the SAS were prepared to shoot him dead on the spot. He served 27 years in a British jail.
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