Life for Iranian bomber

Two Iranian bombers get long prison sentences for possessing explosives & attempted murder of police officer last year on Sukhumvit in Bangkok.

Bystanders watch as a bomb disposal expert approaches the attack site in front of Kasem Phithaya School on Sukhumvit Soi 71. Phrakrit Jantawong.

CRIME

Court convicts 2 Iranians in bomb plot

22/08/2013

AP

Two Iranian men were convicted on Thursday of taking part in a botched bomb plot that was exposed last year when an accidental explosion blew apart the Bangkok villa where they were staying.

Israeli and Thai officials have said the plot was aimed at Israeli diplomats in Bangkok. Iran denied the allegations and neither defendant was charged with terrorism or attempting to kill Israelis.

The Criminal Court in Bangkok on Thursday sentenced 29-year-old Saeid Moradi to life in prison for attempting to murder a police officer and possessing explosives that damaged property and injured several civilians. The court sentenced 43-year-old Mohammad Kharzei to 15 years in jail for possessing explosives.

The two were detained in February 2012, shortly after a cache of homemade explosives accidentally blew apart their villa. Both claimed innocence, saying they had been unaware of the explosives in their home.

Saeid Moradi, a 29-year-old Iranian bombing suspect whose legs were blown off in a bomb blast in Sukhumvit Soi 71 last year, arrives at the Bangkok South Criminal Court on June 19 to hear the verdict on charges related to the bomb blast, but the court postponed its decision until today. APICHART JINAKUL

Defence lawyer Kittipong Kiattanapoom said he would consult  both men and their families to learn if they want to appeal.

Moradi, a factory technician from Tehran and a former soldier, had faced a possible death sentence.

He lost his legs as he tried to flee the villa on a crowded Bangkok street. He was carrying explosives from the house and dropped them in the street as police chased him. They detonated, destroying his legs.

Moradi had said he was carrying the explosives out of the house in an attempt to dispose of them. He also said he was not aware that the explosives were similar to "sticky'' bombs used against Israeli diplomats in foiled attacks a day before the Bangkok incident in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Investigators said the bombs found at the Bangkok home had round, coin-like magnets on them.

Kharzei testified that he was not a terrorist and had nothing to do with the explosions. He said he had not known Moradi until they met at an airport in Tehran before boarding their flight to Thailand.

Another suspect, Iranian Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, 31, was detained in Malaysia, where he has appealed an extradition order. He met Moradi and Kharzei in the Thai city of Pattaya, and fled to Malaysia the day after the explosions.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/365876/court-convicts-2-iranians-in-bomb-plot

Thai police officers escort Iranian bomb suspect Mohammad Kharzei (C) during an investigation at his rented house in Bangkok on February 20, 2012. The failed bomb plot in Bangkok sent tensions between Israel and Iran soaring. AFP / PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL

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Writer: Jon Fernquest
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