French woman home after Iran trial

Academic thanks France for securing her release after spying conviction in Iran.

    Reiss had been accused of playing a role in a 'Western 
    plot' to destabilise Iran [AFP]

    "I would also like to thank [French Foreign] Minister Kouchner who committed himself to resolving my case from the very beginning.

    "And of course I thank my family and the Iranians who showed me their support and all the strangers who showed solidarity with my case - the French and people from all over the world.

    "It gave me a lot of emotions and force to overcome this trial."

    Jail term commuted

    Reiss also paid tribute to her fellow detainees in Iran, two of whom have been put to death.

    "I would like to thank ... [Sarkozy] who supported my innocence from the moment I was arrested"

    Clotilde Reiss, French academic

    "They treated me like a sister," she said, paying "particular homage ... to the two men you saw on television beside me at my trial, who have been executed."

    Reiss was arrested three weeks after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected as president in a disputed June 12 vote. 

    She was accused of taking part in a Western plot to destabilise the Iranian government and was put on trial in August charged with acting against national security.

    But her lawyer said her 10-year jail term was commuted to a fine of three billion rials, or about $300,000. He said he paid the fine on Saturday.

    Reiss was released on bail after a month and a half in custody but only on the condition that she remain at the French Embassy in Tehran until her trial was over.

    Rising tensions

    A judgement in the case had been expected in January, after Reiss had made four court appearances, but the verdict was put off.

    Her case has raised tensions between France and Iran, with Paris saying that Reiss was innocent and demanding her immediate release.

    Reiss's arrest in Tehran in July came as she prepared to leave Iran after working at the University of Isfahan for five months.

    She was among thousands of people detained over widespread post-election unrest, which was sparked after defeated presidential candidates said that the polls had been rigged.

    The government has denied the claims.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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