Malaysia court orders extradition of Iranian bomb suspect

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 25, 2012 5:24 AM
Malaysia court orders extradition of Iranian bomb suspect

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian court ordered on Monday the extradition to Thailand of an Iranian man suspected of involvement in bomb blasts in Bangkok in February, rejecting his defense that he had not known about any plan for an attack.

Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, 31, will be sent back to Thailand unless his lawyers file an appeal within 15 days, prosecution lawyers said. Masoud was arrested in Malaysia the day after the blasts as he attempted to board a flight to Iran, police said.

Three bombs went off in Bangkok on February 14. The first was apparently an accidental blast at a house that Masoud was sharing with two other Iranian suspects.

Another bomb was thrown at a taxi and a third blew off the leg of an Iranian man before he was arrested by police.

Another Iranian suspect was arrested at Bangkok's main airport but Masoud managed to escape to Malaysia.

The previous day in the Indian capital, a bomber travelling by motorcycle attached an explosive device to the car of an Israeli diplomat's wife, wounding here.

That attack came hours after an attempt to bomb an Israeli embassy car in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Israel accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind the New Delhi and Tbilisi attacks. Iran denied involvement.

Police in both India and Thailand believed the blasts in Bangkok and New Delhi were linked.

Masoud had pleaded innocent in a Malaysian court.

"He said he wasn't involved. He doesn't know about the bomb and all that," said his defense lawyer, Mohamad Nashir Hussin.

"He was only associating with those people involved, but he doesn't know that they were involved in the other activities. He didn't know."

(Reporting by Angie Teo; Writing by Rachel Will; Editing by Stuart Grudgings and Robert Birsel)