Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, October 10, 1998 Published at 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK


World: Europe

Germany protests over Iranian sentence



The German government is protesting to Iran over a death sentence given to a German businessman for having an affair with a Muslim Iranian woman.

The German foreign minister, Klaus Kinkel, said he was shocked by the Iranian court ruling, which upheld a sentence handed down in January.

"The confirmation of the death sentence throws a new shadow upon the desire of both governments to improve relations," Mr Kinkel said in a statement.


Shirzad Bozorghmez, Editor of Iranian News, says this is not the end yet
The appeals court found the German businessman, Helmut Hofer, guilty after two sittings and sentenced him to hanging.

Mr Hofer, 56, was first sentenced to death in January soon after his arrest for having an "illicit" affair with a 26-year-old unmarried medical student, Vahideh Qassemi.

Ms Qassemi was sentenced to 100 lashes.

It is illegal under Iranian law to have sex outside marriage, and if the man is not a Muslim the sentence is death.

Mr Hofer has said he converted to Islam when he married a Turkish national whom he has now divorced.

The appeals court had earlier assured German officials that Mr Hofer would be freed because the court was satisfied he was a Muslim and would marry the Iranian woman.

The case will now go to the Supreme Court for a further appeal.

Germany has made it clear that relations with Iran could worsen considerably if Mr Hofer is executed.

Relations between Germany and Iran had been improving lately.

Germany is Iran's leading western trade partner, and western governments have been encouraged by the election last year of the reformist president, Mohamed Khatami.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

10 Oct 98 | Monitoring
Iranian press report on condemned German

19 May 98 | From Our Own Correspondent
Women in the vanguard of change in Iran





Internet Links


Iran News Agency

Irannet


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift