Iran billionaire sentenced to death over $2.8 billion fraud

Iran has sentenced billionaire tycoon Babak Zanjani to death, convicting him of corruption after a long trial on accusations he fraudulently pocketed $2.8 billion.

 The 41-year-old who is worth $13.5 billion and holds a Danish citizenship was convicted of fraud and economic crimes. 

Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie said at the press conference that apart from the death sentence, Zanjani must repay money to the state.

Zanjani became notorious during the era of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, finding ways to channel hard currency from oil sales to Tehran despite financial sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic's banks as punishment for its nuclear programme.

The trial was held in public, a rarity for such a major case in Iran, and two other accused were also convicted of "corruption on earth", the most serious offence under the country's criminal code, meaning they too will face the death penalty.

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