Iran begins trial of Swedish EU employee accused of ‘spying for Israel’ | European Union News

Johan Floderus, who was arrested at Tehran airport in April final 12 months, is charged with working by means of US and European initiatives.

Iran says it has begun the trial of a Swedish nationwide employed by the European Union who’s charged with spying for Israel and “corruption on earth”, a criminal offense that carries the loss of life penalty.

Johan Floderus was indicted “primarily based on corruption on earth, widespread actions towards nationwide safety [and] broad intelligence cooperation with the Zionist regime”, a reference to Israel, the Iranian judiciary’s Mizan information company mentioned in a web based report on Sunday.

Corruption on earth is a capital offence below Iran’s Islamic legal guidelines.

Floderus, 33, was arrested on April 17, 2022, at Tehran airport as he was returning to Iran from a visit with mates. The Swede, who works for the EU diplomatic service, is being held in Tehran’s Evin jail.

Mizan printed images of a handcuffed Floderus showing earlier than judges in a pale blue jail uniform as the costs have been learn.

Iran’s judiciary, in an announcement, mentioned Floderus had operated by means of initiatives by america and European establishments to collect intelligence for Israel.

Iranian officers mentioned he had been in contact with a number of European and non-European suspects in Iran and had visited Israel, Iran’s foe, earlier than visiting Iran. The assertion accused Sweden of proxy spying for Israel.

Sweden on Sunday mentioned the trial of Floderus has begun in Iran however didn’t say what he was charged with.

“Johan Floderus has been arbitrarily detained and each accusation and cost is fake,” a spokesperson for Sweden’s Overseas Ministry mentioned in an emailed remark to the Reuters information company.

“We’ve conveyed this clearly to Iran at totally different ranges and instances, the newest being yesterday [Saturday].”

Floderus’s household has mentioned he was detained “with none justifiable trigger or due course of”.

The EU’s high international coverage chief Josep Borrell on Sunday referred to as for his fast launch, saying “there are completely no grounds for retaining Johan Floderus in detention”.

Sweden’s Overseas Minister Tobias Billstrom added: “There is no such thing as a foundation in any respect for retaining Johan Floderus in detention, not to mention bringing him to trial.”

Rights teams and Western governments have accused Iran of attempting to extract political concessions from different international locations by means of arrests on safety fees that will have been trumped up.

Tehran says such arrests are primarily based on its prison code and it denies holding folks for political causes.

Relations between Sweden and Iran have been tense since 2019 when Sweden arrested Hamid Noury, a former Iranian official for his half within the mass execution and torture of political prisoners within the Nineteen Eighties.

Noury in the end acquired a life sentence in July 2022. The Courtroom of Appeals in Sweden is anticipated to announce a verdict within the case on December 19.

In Might this 12 months, Iran executed Swedish-Iranian dissident Habib Farajollah Chaab, convicted of main a separatist group Tehran blames for a number of assaults, together with one on a navy parade in 2018 that killed 25 folks.

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