President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

30 January 2008 :

Iran has executed a customs contractor for corruption and three customs employees have also been sentenced to death, the judiciary said, a rare use of capital punishment for economic crimes in the country.
Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said he did not know whether it was the first time an execution for such crimes was carried out in the Islamic Republic, whose leaders have vowed to root out graft.
Jamshidi told reporters that three customs employees at Tehran's Mehrabad airport and one contractor were sentenced to death for "office corruption and other economic crimes" but did not give details.
"The execution sentence for one of them has been carried out," he said, adding the three others had appealed for their sentences to be commuted to life imprisonment and that this was being studied by the judiciary authorities.
"The main thing in their case was receiving a bribe of more than 10 billion rials (about $1.07 million)," Jamshidi said, without specifying if this was the total amount or for each individual.
He said that "disrupting the foreign exchange, monetary or banking system" was punishable by death under Iranian law.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005 vowing to clamp down on corruption. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has previously also ordered a crackdown on graft.

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