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Death penalty for VUB visiting professor 'definitive'

20:00 05/02/2018

Iran's supreme court has rejected an appeal to overturn the death sentence for a VUB visiting professor convicted of spying for Israel.

Father-of-two Ahmadreza Djalali, 45, who taught disaster medicine at the Brussels university, was imprisoned during a trip to Tehran in 2016 for "collaboration with scientists from foreign enemy states" and found guilty last October of passing information about Iranian nuclear scientists to the Mossad intelligence agency.

Djalali's lawyer Zouhaier Chihaoui told Le Soir: "This time the sentence is definitive. It has been confirmed that the death penalty can be carried out, and it can happen at any time."

Since his imprisonment, academics from around the world sought to intervene, as well as the United Nations and Amnesty International.

Gerlant van Berlaer, Djalali's colleague at Brussels University Hospital, said in December that the professor had been "physically and psychologically tortured ... and not given a fair or public trial."