The eighth trial session in Iran’s biggest bank scam has been wrapped up in Tehran after hearing the defense of four defendants charged with bribery and illegal acquisition of wealth, Press TV reports.
The April 29 trial lasted seven hours for the hearing of various crimes the defendants were charged with including bribery, money laundering and fraud.
All defendants except one pleaded not guilty and an attorney for a defendant said his client’s charges should be reduced from bribery to illegal acquisition of wealth.
The first court session in Iran's biggest bank fraud case was held on February 18.
The defendants are charged with misappropriating a total of USD 2.6 billion of funds by using forged documents to obtain credit from banks to purchase state-owned companies.
Over 100 people have so far been implicated in the bank fraud case and investigators are still questioning dozens of others allegedly involved in the case.
According to the indictment, the owners of the Aria Investment Development Company, which is at the center of the controversy, have bribed bank managers to get loans and letters of credit. The company has more than 35 affiliates that are active in diverse business activities.
The presiding judge, Nasser Seraj, must go through 12,000 pages of documents before he can issue a verdict in the high-profile case.
Seven state-owned and private Iranian banks are said to be involved in the fraud case.
Former CEO of Iran's Melli Bank Mohammad Reza Khavari, who is one of the main suspects in the case, escaped justice after the scam was revealed and now resides in Canada.