The Brussels Court of Appeal on Friday evening temporarily banned the Belgian State from extraditing Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi to Iran.
Assadi was sentenced in Belgium on 4 February 2021 to 20 years in prison for his involvement in a thwarted bomb attack in Paris.
Several individuals, including victims who had registered as civil parties to the trial, and the National Council for the Resistance in Iran (NCRI) filed summary proceedings immediately after Wednesday’s vote in the Belgian Parliament on a bill that would allow extraditions between Belgium and Iran.
After being rejected by the court of first instance in Brussels on Thursday, the plaintiffs won their appeal on Friday.
The court ordered that Belgium be “provisionally prohibited, on pain of a fine of €500,000, from releasing Assadi […] from the Belgian prison where he is serving a sentence of 20 years […] and transferring him to any foreign state whatsoever,” particularly Iran.
The court noted that the rights of the plaintiffs “could be irreparably violated” if Assadi were handed over to the Iranian authorities, without the possibility of an adversarial procedure – a hearing where both parties are present or represented by a lawyer. The ban will apply until such a hearing is held, the court added.
The plaintiffs now need to summon the Belgian state within 24 hours before the French-speaking court of first instance in Brussels for the adversarial hearing.