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Iranian President Rohani’s brother goes on trial

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, April 4, 2018. (Kremlin.ru/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The trial of Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s brother, who was briefly arrested two years ago on charges of financial violations, has opened in Tehran, local media report.

Hossein Fereidoun and four associates were present in court during the February 19 court hearing, according to the judiciary’s news website Mizan.

A representative of the state prosecutor read out the indictment during the hearing, Mizan said, without providing further details.

Fereidoun and his brother do not share the same name because Rohani has changed his.

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Fereidoun, a top adviser to Rohani, was arrested in 2017 and quickly released on bail following long-running corruption allegations, with the judiciary, saying at the time that he was the subject of “multiple investigations.”

Conservatives had demanded that Fereidoun be put on trial, accusing him of financial-corruption charges.

Rohani’s supporters have suggested that the case against Fereidoun was part of efforts by hard-liners to undermine the Iranian president.

A new hearing in the case is set to be held next week, the judiciary-affiliated Mizan said.