Iran sends French skipper to jail to 18 months

16th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, March 16, 2006 (AFP) - An Iranian appeals court has confirmed a sentence of 18 months in jail for a German and Frenchman accused of illegally entering Iranian waters in a fishing boat, a judicial source said Thursday.

TEHRAN, March 16, 2006 (AFP) - An Iranian appeals court has confirmed a sentence of 18 months in jail for a German and Frenchman accused of illegally entering Iranian waters in a fishing boat, a judicial source said Thursday.

"The sentence has been confirmed, but the ruling has not yet been made public," the source said.

German Donald Klein and Frenchman Stéphane Lherbier, 32, working as his skipper were arrested after straying while on a fishing trip from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in November.

Their lawyers vowed to fight the latest decision made after the appeals court met last Sunday.

"We will seek avenues of recourse for this decision with a higher decision-making body," Lherbier's lawyer Mohammad Hassan Azemati told AFP.

During the final court session, the defendants' lawyers, both of whom are Iranian, told the judge their clients did not realised they had trespassed into territorial waters, claimed by both Iran and the UAE.

Several areas in the waters between Iran and the UAE are disputed, notably the island of Abu Mussa close to where the two were detained. The two men said they had mistakenly used Emirati maps that did not show the current maritime boundaries.

Their disappearance was first reported on November 29 by Klein's wife when he failed to return from a fishing trip. The German man had been on holiday in the UAE, which lies across the Gulf from Iran.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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