Index

DATE=5/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN TRIAL (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-261946 BYLINE=DALE GAVLAK DATELINE=TEHRAN CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Three of the 13 Iranian Jews accused of spying have reportedly admitted they had links with Israel's intelligence agency. One of the three -- the main defendant in the case -- told foreign reporters today/Wednesday he spied for Israel out of religious conviction and financial need. He also told reporters his confessions in court and on Iranian state television were not made under duress. Dale Gavlak is in Tehran and has this report. TEXT: The defense attorney for the Iranian Jews says that a televised confession by the chief defendant, Hamid Tefilin, was not enough to prove he spied for Israel. Ismail Nasiri says Mr. Tefilin and the other defendants had been jailed for more than a year, and that under Iranian law and international procedures such admissions of guilt after a long imprisonment have no value. The defense lawyer argues that Mr. Tefilin and his colleagues gave Israel unclassified information available in the public domain. He explains that this could not be defined as espionage under Iranian law. /// Opt /// Mr. Tefilin denies that his confession was made under duress and admits receiving 500 dollars a month from Israel for information he provided. /// End Opt /// Under Iran's revolutionary court system, there is no jury and the judge is also the prosecutor. Defense Attorney Nasiri calls the entire trial proceedings flawed. /// Opt /// He adds that when he has asked the judge for evidence of the charges, he is silent. Mr. Nasiri argues that the Iranian government must prove that secret information damaging to its security and beneficial to an enemy country actually changed hands. /// End Opt /// The country's most prominent opposition leader, Ebrahim Yazdi, says Iranians lack detailed information about what is happening in the case. /// Yazdi Act /// The Iranian authorities, particularly in the judiciary, are not used to give proper information to our public here. Not only in Shiraz (EDS: the southern city where the trial is being held) but in other cases. No one knows what has happened. /// End Act /// A student leader in Iran's reform movement, Akbar Atri, agrees that not enough is known by the public. But he says the Iranian Jews, as citizens, should have their rights protected. He adds that if it is proved they are traitors, then they should be punished. He speaks through a translator. /// Atri Act /// If it's proved that these people are spies of Israel, we must take severe action against them because they harmed our national rights and they betrayed our nation. We expect our judiciary system to deal with these judgments according to our country's laws and not destroy any of their rights. /// End Act /// /// Rest Opt /// Opposition leader Ebrahim Yazdi complains that there is more interest in Iran's Jews, than other Iranians languishing in jail and unlawfully treated. /// Yazdi Act /// It's unfortunate that the outside world has shown more sensitivity towards the Jews than the other Iranians. It seems to be that in the mass media there is some sort of racist attitude. If they arrest Jews, they make some sort of fuss. If they arrest non-Jews, they don't make any fuss about it. What's the difference? /// End Act /// Mr. Yazdi says there are still large numbers of students imprisoned for their participation in pro democracy demonstrations last year. (Signed) NEB/DG/GE/JP 03-May-2000 14:54 PM EDT (03-May-2000 1854 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .