Two Iranians sentenced for botched Bangkok attack

Two Iranian men were on Thursday sentenced by a Thai court for 15 years of life behind bars for their role in a botched attack in Bangkok last year

Bangkok: Two Iranian men were on Thursday sentenced by a Thai court for 15 years of life behind bars for their role in a botched attack in Bangkok last year around the same time a car bombing targeted the wife of an Israeli diplomat in India.

Saeid Moradi - a 29-year-old former soldier who lost his legs when an explosive device went off as he was fleeing a rented house here on February 14 last year - was given a life sentence.

The court found him guilty of carrying explosives and attempted murder.

The other Iranian, 43-year-old Mohammad Khazaei, was jailed for 15 years for possessing explosives. The two men were ordered to pay financial penalties, including two million baht as compensation for damaging the house.

The bombs found in Moradi`s possession were similar to "sticky" explosive devices used in attacks against Israeli diplomats in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia a day before the Bangkok incident.

Five people were injured in the triple explosions, including Moradi, whose legs were blown off when a bomb he was carrying exploded as he tried to throw it at Thai police.

Moradi was arrested at the scene of the blasts. Khazaei was detained at Bangkok`s international airport while trying to fly to neighbouring Malaysia.

They and Khazaei had claimed innocence, saying they were unaware of the explosives in their home.

Israel claimed the Iranians were involved in a plot against its diplomats in Bangkok though Iran denied the allegations. Both men were not charged with terrorism or attempting to kill Israelis.

A third suspect, Iranian national Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, is in Malaysia fighting extradition to Thailand. Reports said Malaysia had approved his extradition but he is still there.

Speaking after the court gave its verdict, Simon Roded, the Israeli Ambassador to Thailand, called the two convicted men "terrorists" and said the sentence "proves once again that Iran is engaged in the proliferation of terror all around the world".

PTI