23 Nov 2009

Convicted Iran reformist bailed for nearly $1m

8:58 pm on 23 November 2009

A former Iranian vice-president sentenced to six years in prison over this year's election protests has been released on bail of more than seven billion Iranian rials, or nearly $NZ1 million.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a leading reformist, had been in custody for more than five months. He was among scores of opposition figures arrested after June's election, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term.

He had been found guilty of various charges including gathering and plotting against the country's security, propaganda against the regime, insulting the president and participating in an illegal election.

The ABC cites Iranian media reports as saying that the evidence against him included an interview with the BBC and an online blog.

He was sentenced to six years' jail but under Iranian law any sentence above three months is subject to appeal, and bail is allowed for 20 days.