DUBAI (Reuters) - Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, the son of Iran’s former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been handed down three jail sentences amounting to 15 years on corruption and security charges, Iran’s chief prosecutor told state media on Sunday.
The Tehran Revolutionary Court handed down sentences of seven, five and three years for three separate offences including one “security issue”, and Hashemi has 20 days to appeal, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei said.
Rafsanjani, who is known Iran mainly as Mehdi Hashemi, is a 45-year-old businessman and has previously been detained on corruption charges, including last year and in 2012, according to media reports.
Hashemi’s father is the chairman of the Expediency Council, a powerful unelected body, and served two terms as president from 1989 to 1997. He supported President Hassan Rouhani’s election campaign in 2013, and is also a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Rouhani has vowed to tackle corruption in Iran and renewed a campaign to eradicate it. Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani is the second high-profile figure to be jailed on corruption charges this year.
Mohammad Reza Rahimi, a vice-president under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was sentenced to five years in jail in January in connection with a billion-dollar money laundering scheme.
Hashemi was also handed down a fine, ordered to return unspecified assets, and barred from holding political office, Mohseni-Ejei said. No further information was immediately available.
Reporting by Sam Wilkin; Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky