Iran repeals death sentence for former U.S. Marine

On Monday, Iran’s supreme court vacated the death sentence for a former U.S. Marine held since August on suspicions of spying, Iranian state media reported.

In December, Iranian authorities accused Amir Hekmati, 28, a former U.S. Marine linguist from Michigan, of having come to Iran to spy for the CIA. But his family and friends as well as the U.S. government say the charges are bogus; his family contends that Hekmati went to Iran in August with the permission of the Iran “interests section,” or its embassy-like body in Washington, D.C., to visit his elderly grandmothers. They expressed shock when an Iran revolutionary court reportedly sentenced Hekmati to death at a closed-door trial in January.

On Monday, Hekmati’s sentence was overturned, Iran’s judiciary said, but it gave little in the way of explanation.

“The supreme court nullified the execution  sentence against Amir Mirza Hekmati and sent it to an affiliate court,”  said Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei to Iran’s Fars News Agency on Monday, which Reuters reported. “Iran’s judiciary said Hekmati admitted to having links with the CIA but  denied  any intention of harming Iran.”

A friend of the Hekmati family in Flint, Mich., told Yahoo News Monday that the family did not yet have more information on the developments.

Former U.S. Ambassador and attorney Pierre-Richard Prosper, who has been hired by the family of Amir Hekmati, 28, to assist with his case, told the Associated Press Monday that he is working to confirm details about the surprise developments.

“The family is not making any comments at this time, but as you can imagine, we are pleased with the reports coming out of Tehran,” Eric Volz, a spokesman for the Prosper team on the Hekmati case, told Yahoo News by email Monday.

Prosper successfully helped negotiate the release of another Iranian-American jailed in Iran in 2010.

  1. #1 by B.Benhamid on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    There’s gotta be more to the story than meets the eye.

  2. #2 by Isaac on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    Well, It is a good gesture. I hope the US politicians can appreciate but our politicians are soulless and they don’t see the good on any body, they only look for who has the most money for their pockets and their political gain. they only follow the devil’s (Jews) wishes.

  3. #3 by Ingrid B on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    The Iranian government probably chose not to alienate Iranian ex-pats..

  4. #4 by Vincent Rybka on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    in these times we live in these days why in the hell would any american go to iran for anything other then to spy…..this guys lucky t be alive right now god bless him.

  5. #5 by Average Joe Bodybuilder on 03/06/2012 - 9:34

    the iranian expats are part of irans problems. why the hell would an iranian expat work against iran? don’t tell me that these iranian americans are more iranian than the islamic people who are in power. they want to turn iran into a freaking discotheque because these people are MURTADS and haters of islam (AKA part of the NWO). okay the judge begrudgingly was merciful, but i would have done everything in my power to bring him close to the end without finishing him off. people NEVER trust an iranian american unless you know that he is a religious islamic type because the other kind are simply disgusting charlatans with no morality at all.

  6. #6 by Pro-Gentile on 03/08/2012 - 9:34

    Very well said Average Joe. Agree wholeheartedly.

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