REUTERS: Iran to resume French lecturer’s trial Tuesday

Nov 16, 20090 comments

Reuters November 16, 2009, 3:24 am

French language teaching assistant Clotilde Reiss testifies during her trial at the Revolutionary court in Tehran August 8, 2009. REUTERS/Fars NewsReuters ©

TEHRAN (Reuters) – The trial of a French teaching assistant who was arrested on spying charges following Iran’s disputed election in June will resume on Tuesday, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported on Sunday. Clotilde Reiss, who is out of jail on bail, has been accused of taking part in a Western plot to destabilize the Iranian government after the June 12 vote in which hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected. France has dismissed the charges as baseless and Reiss, arrested on July 1, has been staying in the French embassy in Tehran since her trial started on August 16, when she was put in the dock alongside other accused. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner last week demanded Iran provide formal guarantees that Reiss will not be jailed again while awaiting a verdict, France Inter radio reported. Iran’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the demand. Reiss, 24, was arrested when she prepared to return home after five months spent working at the University of Isfahan. Tehran’s chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said earlier this month her trial would resume but did not give a date. Kouchner said Reiss would not attend the court without getting “certain” guarantees, adding that “she must be able to leave the courthouse in Tehran and return to the embassy.” The turmoil after the vote was the worst in Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Authorities deny vote-rigging and portrayed the unrest as a foreign-backed bid to undermine the Islamic state. Human rights groups say thousands of people were detained after the vote. More than 100 people, including former senior officials, remain in jail accused of stoking the unrest. (Reporting by Reza Derakhshi; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Michael Roddy)