Thai court hands Iranian life sentence over botched bombing

BANGKOK Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:00pm IST

Iranian Saeid Moradi arrives at Bangkok South Criminal Court December 21, 2012. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

Iranian Saeid Moradi arrives at Bangkok South Criminal Court December 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - An Iranian man who blew off his own legs was sentenced to life in prison by a Thai court on Thursday for his involvement in a botched bomb plot that rocked Bangkok last year and brought condemnation from Israel.

A court found Saeid Moradi, 29, guilty of attempted murder in an attack that authorities say was intended to target Israeli diplomats. A second defendant, Mohammad Khazaei, 43, was given 15 years in jail for possession of explosive devices.

Five people were wounded by a series of explosions in Bangkok on February 14, 2012. The wounded included Moradi, who blew off both his legs when a bomb he was carrying exploded as he tried to throw it at Thai police.

The explosions have been linked to a car-bomb attack on the wife of an Israeli diplomat in India and a third, unsuccessful attack in Georgia a day earlier.

Israel has accused arch-enemy Iran of orchestrating the attacks, but Tehran denies the accusations. The court's decision was welcomed by an Israeli diplomat in Thailand who also condemned the bombings.

Khazaei was arrested at Bangkok's main international airport while trying to catch a flight to Malaysia. Moradi was arrested at the scene of the bombing.

A third suspect, Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, is being held in Malaysia after fleeing Thailand shortly after the explosions.

A spokesman for the Royal Thai Police said Malaysia had approved Zadeh's extradition to Thailand but the suspect had not yet been brought back to hear the charges against him. (Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Paul Tait)

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