Nieuws volgens datum: 4 Feb, 2021

France bomb plot: Iran diplomat Assadollah Assadi sentenced to 20 years


An Iranian diplomat has been convicted of a plot to bomb a big French rally held by an exiled opposition group. Assadollah Assadi, 49, who worked at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, was given a 20-year jail term by the court in Antwerp in Belgium. It was the first time an Iranian official had faced such charges in the EU since the 1979 revolution. Three others were also convicted. They were arrested during a joint operation by German, French and Belgian police.

Tehran insists the plot was a fabrication. Tens of thousands of people attended the June 2018 rally outside Paris, including Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The verdict comes weeks after US President Joe Biden took office, with Iran hoping he will reverse some of the sanctions introduced by his predecessor. France blamed Iran’s intelligence ministry for the planned attack and responded by freezing the assets of two senior Iranian officials.

Prosecution lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier told reporters the ruling showed two things: “A diplomat cannot just do anything. He has immunity related to his position, he does not have immunity for criminal and terrorist acts he committed.(BBC)…[+]

Myanmar coup: Military blocks Facebook for sake of ‘stability’


Myanmar’s military rulers have blocked access to Facebook, days after they overthrew the democratic government. Officials said the social media platform – for many in Myanmar the main source of online information – would be blocked for the sake of “stability”. Facebook has become a key rallying point for opposition to Monday’s coup. In further civil disobedience, lawmakers are refusing to leave their compound in the capital, and more pot-banging was seen in Yangon.

The coup, led by armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing, installed an 11-member junta, ending a short period of majority civilian rule. The military said an election in November had been fraudulent – though the country’s election commission said there was no evidence of such fraud. The elected civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, along with President Win Myint, were detained and on Wednesday police filed charges against them. The charges against her include possession of unlawful communication devices – walkie-talkies used by her security staff.(BBC)…[+]