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Court releases Iranian Zadeh, will not be taken into custody

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Brno, Feb 4 (CTK) – Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, an Iranian with Czech citizenship prosecuted over extensive tax evasion, was released on Thursday and he will not be taken into custody as demanded by the state attorney based on an international warrant for his arrest issued by Iran over Zadeh’s business disputes in Dubai.

Zadeh, who was escorted to the court by police with sub-machine guns, was leaving the court room with a smile, accompanied by his defence lawyers only.

“The court reached the conclusion, which had already been clear during the arrest of my client in the Brno-Bohunice prison on Monday. He is a Czech citizen and the Czech Republic extradites its citizens to Iran only if they give consent to it. Mr Zadeh does not agree with it. Everything is clear then,” his defence lawyer Pavel Capcuch told CTK.

After his release, Zadeh criticised the state attorney’s office.

He would like to give a press conference within a week to comment on his cases in detail. Now, he will go to Prague to meet his family, he added.

He said he would attend the beginning of his trial in the tax evasion case at the Brno Regional Court on March 8.

Zadeh is suspected of tax evasion in the Czech Republic in which he, along with 15 accomplices, caused the state damage worth 2.5 billion crowns.

They imported fuels to the Czech Republic through 65 firms from Germany and Slovenia.

Zadeh has denied any wrongdoing. He faces up to 13 years in prison if found guilty.

Zadeh spent 22 months in custody over this case. He was released on Monday after paying a record 150-million-crown bail. One-third of the bail, one of the highest a Czech court has ever set, was paid by his Czech friends, the other by his family and the rest by his friends from the EU.

However, he was arrested immediately again over the Iranian arrest warrant. Iran issued it on the basis of a legal complaint filed against him in Tehran by his former business partner.

Capcuch points out that the state attorney’s office could have proceeded this matter in the past 11 months when it knew about the arrest warrant and had Zadeh in custody.

Zadeh criticises that he had to wait for a week after paying the bail before the court decided on his release and above all, that he was released only administratively on Monday, while the police arrested him directly in the prison complex. The state attorney demanded then that Zadeh be taken into custody again.

Zadeh also claims that regional court judge Ales Novotny was intentionally delaying his release from custody.

“I only demand equal treatment and a chance of commenting on the matter,” Zadeh said.

In 2010, Zadeh was nearly arrested in Dubai, but he succeeded in obtaining a Czech passport thanks to a hasty marriage with a Czech woman at the embassy in Abu Dhabi and he flew to Prague immediately, the press wrote earlier.

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