Lawyer to 3 Americans: Eight-Year Prison Sentence Disproportionate With Charges
Massoud Shafiee, the lawyer representing the three Americans on trial in Iran, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he was uninformed of the ruling issued by the lower court in his clients’ cases, as announced on Iranian television today. According to what Iranian media announced today, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were each sentenced to three years in prison for illegal entry and to another five years on charges of espionage. Shafiee told the Campaign that just as soon as the ruling is officially served to him, he will express his opinion about it. Asked whether it is possible to file suit against the judge with the Judges Court for issuing a sentence that is not supported by the evidence in the case, he told the Campaign: “The Judge, unfortunately, is not committed to the requirement of ‘proportionate sentencing;’ we have ways of recourse available to us.”
Iranian state television’s News Network (IRNN) merely stated its news source as “a judicial authority,” without mentioning his name. “Allegations of espionage were reflected both in the indictment and in the statements made by the Prosecutor’s Representative, but as far as presenting reasons in this area, I’d have to say there were absolutely no reasons,” Shafiee told the Campaign. Shafiee also expressed dismay about the Iranian Judiciary’s announcement of the ruling on television prior to informing him. “And this shows how lawyers are regarded in this country. Instead of serving the ruling to the lawyer according to law, they announce it elsewhere,” he said. Shafiee said he will go to courthouse tomorrow to find out the details of the lower court’s ruling.
Massoud Shafiee told the Campaign that he will submit an appeal bill to the court during the allotted 20 days after the ruling is served to him. According to what IRNN has announced, Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer to three years in prison for illegal entry and five years in prison on espionage charges. It was said that Sarah Shourd’s case remains open.
Asked whether the evidence presented in court was proportionate with the announced sentence of his clients, Shafiee told the Campaign: “It is not proportionate at all. I did not expect such a ruling at all. I told Shane and Josh, too…unfortunately, under the current circumstances I have no contact with them, either. Even so, there are still ways to defend them.”