Belgium’s top court ruled to overturn a decision to freeze a controversial treaty on prisoner exchanges between Belgium and Iran which allows an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, convicted of terrorism to be exchanged with a Belgian humanitarian worker, Olivier Vandecasteele, imprisoned in Iran for over a year on spy charges which the Belgian authorities have described as “fabricated.” He had been sentenced to 40 years and 74 lashes.
The exchange had been approved by the Belgian parliament last year but was put on hold by the Belgian Constitutional Court out of fear that Tehran would not hold its end of the bargain.
The Court agreed to the exchange but required that the victims of terrorism should be informed of the decision.
Assadollah Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison by court in Antwerp for plotting a bomb attack against a rally organized by the Iranian opposition near Paris. The plot was foiled thanks to a tip from Israeli intelligence to European intelligence services.