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Iranian court sentences ex-defense ministry adviser to death in espionage case — report

Alireza Akbari has been convicted of espionage for the UK

MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. An Iranian court has sentenced to death Alireza Akbari, an adviser to a former defense minister who was in office from 1997 to 2005, the ISNA news service reported on Wednesday.

Akbari has been convicted of espionage for the UK, according to the report. The Iranian intelligence agency described him as "one of the most important agents of the British intelligence services, who collected important data about Iran to pass them on abroad." Akbari, according to the agency, had access to classified data and regularly passed them over to the intelligence services of hostile countries.

Following the preliminary sentencing to death, Akbari filed an appeal, which was then turned down and the ruling was upheld. The report didn’t say when the preliminary sentencing took place.

The BBC said on Wednesday that Akbari’s family members had been summoned to his prison for the last visit. According to the BBC, Akbari has dual citizenship, also being a UK national.

Akbari denied any wrongdoing. The BBC said the former adviser had been detained about 10 months ago and was tortured while in custody.