Iran: US reporter spy trial verdict date unknown

Head of Tehran's justice department says Sunday that the court has yet to reach a decision

Iran: US reporter spy trial verdict date unknown

World Bulletin / News Desk

The trial in Iran of jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on spying charges has yet to end, Tehran's justice department chief said Sunday, days after the journalist's lawyer said proceedings were over.

Lawyer Leila Ahsan said last Monday that the secretive trial had its final session and that she expected a verdict "within a week".

But the head of Tehran's justice department, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said Sunday that the court had yet to reach a decision.

"The end of the proceedings in the file of Jason Rezaian has yet to be announced. The verdict has yet to be reached," Esmaili was quoted as saying by the official ISNA news agency. 

"The judge sets the date of the verdict." 

Rezaian, a 39-year-old Iranian-American, has been in custody more than a year and is being tried behind closed doors, drawing condemnation from his family, employer and press freedom groups.

His newspaper has called the trial a "sick brew of farce and tragedy" and said it "has been anything but transparent and just".

Monday's hearing -- the trial's fourth -- was the first since Iran struck a nuclear deal with the leading powers in Vienna on July 14, and it centred on the reporter's rebuttal of the charges.

He stands accused of "espionage, collaboration with hostile governments, gathering classified information and disseminating propaganda against the Islamic republic." 

The charges are thought to carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Ahsan told AFP that Monday's hearing would be the last one of the trial, adding that she expected her client's acquittal "as he is completely innocent".

Rezaian, the Post's Tehran correspondent, was arrested with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, in July 2014, along with a photographer.

Although Salehi and the third individual were later released on bail, Ahsan said she expected court action against Rezaian's wife after he receives his verdict.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ağustos 2015, 10:35