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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Iran exiles' leader freed on bail
Maryam Rajavi
Bail was set at 80,000 euros
The leader of an Iranian exile group has been released on bail under formal investigation for alleged links to terrorism.

Maryam Rajavi was arrested last month along with dozens of other exiles - a move which sparked widespread protests by Iranians across Europe.

Mrs Rajavi leads the political arm of the Iranian People's Mujahideen (MKO) - a left-wing organisation designated a terrorist group by the US, the European Union and by Iran's clerical rulers.

Mrs Rajavi's bail was set at 80,000 euros ($92,000), her lawyer said.

A Paris court has also ordered the release of eight other members of the People's Mujahideen who, along with Mrs Rajavi, were placed under judicial investigation last month.

One, like Mrs Rajavi, will have to secure bail, while the others have been released without bail.

The ruling was made against the recommendation of the public prosecutor, who on Tuesday asked that Maryam Rajavi be kept in jail.

Immolations

For Mrs Rajavi's supporters, her conditional release is cause for celebration, says the BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Paris.

Man rushes to aid Segigheh Mojaveri after she sets herself alight
Demonstrators have set themselves on fire to protest against the arrests
Dozens of people who have been on hunger strike at her group's headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise say their objective has been achieved and they will end their protest.

Mrs Rajavi and more than 150 other group members were detained following raids on their headquarters last month by police who found about 8m euros there.

The arrests sparked dramatic protests, including Iranian supporters setting themselves on fire and hunger strikes.

A total of 17 people remain under investigation - a step short of being officially charged - on suspicion of associating with or financing terrorist groups.

Mrs Rajavi and her husband Massoud have been long been high on the Iranian Government's wanted list, accused of waging an armed struggle against the authorities in Tehran.




SEE ALSO:
France investigates Iran exiles
22 Jun 03  |  Europe
Iranian group 'planned attacks'
18 Jun 03  |  Europe
Profile: Maryam Rajavi
17 Jun 03  |  Middle East


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