Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Jum Muir reports for BBC News
"He wasn't taking anything for granted"
 real 28k

Thursday, 20 January, 2000, 08:18 GMT
Iran frees German businessman

Helmut Hofer Helmut Hofer was fined nearly $7,000


A German businessman is free to leave Iran after he was convicted and fined for insulting a police officer, almost a year after he was acquitted of having illicit sex with an Iranian woman.

Helmut Hofer, 58, was fined 20 million rials ($6,666) by a Tehran court.



We accept the verdict and are not appealing
Mr Hofer's attorney, Nasser Taheri
Mr Hofer's lawyer, Nasser Taheri, said the judge had told his client he was free to leave once he had paid the fine.

"Staff from the German Embassy are paying the fine now and then he will join us," Mr Taheri told reporters outside a prison in Tehran.

"We accept the verdict and are not appealing."

Mr Taheri said his client would then get his passport back, and "was very happy and feeling very well".

Mr Hofer had spent nearly two years in jail in Tehran on sex charges, but was later charged with insulting and resisting a police officer.

The long trial

The businessman was sentenced to death in January 1998, after being found guilty of having illicit relations with an Iranian Muslim woman.


Mr Hofer at a court appearance last September
In Iranian law, sex outside marriage is punishable by flogging, but it becomes a capital offence if the man is not a Muslim.

One appeal, that Mr Hofer had in fact converted to Islam before having sex, was turned down. However, the Iranian Supreme Court quashed the death sentence and ordered a retrial.

In September 1999, Mr Hofer did have to pay $23,000 to avoid a flogging passed down by one judge.

He was eventually acquitted for lack of evidence.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Middle East Contents

Country profiles

See also:
23 Dec 99 |  Middle East
Iran frees German on bail
10 Oct 98 |  Monitoring
Iranian press report on condemned German
20 Feb 99 |  Middle East
Iran quashes death sentence

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories