Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
Billionaire Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani has settled a part of his massive debt to the government over selling the Islamic Republic’s oil during the sanction period, an Iranian minister said.
According to Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the tycoon who was earlier sentenced to death for “corruption” has already repaid about $625 million (20 trillion rials) out of $3.5 billion in embezzled funds, Shana news agency reported.
Babak Zanjani was arrested in December 2013 after accusations that he withheld billions in oil revenue channeled through his companies, the billionaire has denied the accusations.
Iranian judiciary earlier announced that the 42 year-old businessman was convicted of fraud and economic crimes.
During the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s term, Zanjani reportedly played a key role in helping the country to bypass Western-imposed sanctions against Iran restricting the country’s oil exports.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized the death penalty saying the execution of the billionaire will mask the identity of senior officials who supported him.