Jan 24, 2024, 3:29 PM

Ali Divandari acquitted of all charges

Ali Divandari acquitted of all charges

TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (MNA) – Former CEO of Bank Mellat Ali Divandari was acquitted of all charges.

Branch 3 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran, specializing in the examination of economic crimes, has issued and announced a definitive verdict acquitting Ali Divandari of all charges. The verdict states that since there is no evidence of misconduct, betrayal of trust, racketeering, or financial abuse by the accused, and with the clarification of many facts for the judiciary, including the identification of alleged profits in the accounts of Bank Mellat, the confirmation of financial reports by Bank Mellat officials, the resolutions of the loans granted by Dr. Divandari and Dr. Aram, contradictions in the statements of Parsian Bank lawyers, and the proven involvement of Dastgheyb, Zarei, and Sakhaie in obtaining and benefiting from the 36 million dollar loan for ship purchase from Parsian Bank, the claims and testimonies in the case are rejected based on a report from the Special Inspection Office and Civil Rights Department of the Judiciary, numbered 120/1487/9000 dated 11/10/2020, citing the close relationships and conflict of interest between the officers and the principal debtors of the bank as a reason for incomplete and insufficient investigations. The acquittal verdict of Dr. Divandari thoroughly addresses these issues, showing the vindication of rights and grievances of the accused in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law, and the issuance of different verdicts for the same charge, and the proof of false testimony of witnesses and informants, in line with the directives of the Head of the Judiciary regarding the need for change in this institution.

Who is Ali Divandari? And what happened to him?

Ali Divandari, holding a Ph.D. in Strategic Management, a full professor at the University of Tehran, and a well-known and successful manager in the country’s monetary and banking system, is respected in the community and by economic and industrial experts and specialists for significant transformations and actions he took during his eight-year management at Bank Mellat to create suitable banking infrastructure and advance and flourish the country’s economy. His actions and activities at Bank Mellat caused significant transformations in the banking system and other economic sectors, the effects of which are still evident. After his tenure at Bank Mellat, he worked at Parsian Bank and then at the Monetary and Banking Research Institute of the Central Bank.

However, in 2019, following a complaint by Parsian Bank to reclaim its debts from the major debtors of Parsian and Mellat banks means Abdullah Dastgheyb and Ehsan Sakhai, Divandari’s name was brought up in this case through a pre-planned plot by these individuals, and to everyone’s surprise, another case of overdue claims from Bank Mellat was added to this case. Gradually, by sidelining the main accused and with various tricks, including the involvement of some influential and wealthy stakeholders of the case, this diligent manager was introduced as the main accused. Although few accepted that Divandari had committed any misconduct in this case, extensive and serious charges were raised against him in court sessions and were unusually reflected in the media

When Divandari in his defense spoke about the black box of the case, Abdullah Dastgheyb and his partner Ehsan Sakhaie (son-in-law of the former Minister of Intelligence), and the role of Mohammad Aram Beniyar, and the deception of the intelligence institution, his situation intensified on the 28/1/2020. Following the unconventional handling of the case by the court and the censorship order on what was discussed in court, numerous campaigns were launched by students, university professors, experts, banking system managers, and supporters of Dr. Divandari through online activities, signing, and sending numerous petitions to the Judiciary to warn against the influence of malicious currents and support this capable and devoted manager of the country. Unfortunately, at that time, these legitimate demands were not sufficiently addressed. Subsequently, following the issuance and illegal execution of the conviction verdict, which again caused severe protests from all supporters of truth and justice, a request for a retrial was accepted in the first branch of the Supreme Court in August 2020, which ultimately led to Dr. Divandari being acquitted of all charges by the aforementioned judicial authority on 11/5/2022.

A pioneer manager in solving the country’s currency issues

The acquittal verdict states, “So far, after a long period of various judicial stages and investigations by officers, no substantiated evidence indicating direct or indirect benefit to Ali Divandari has been found. While he has been instrumental in increasing the capital of Mellat and Parsian banks, he is one of the country’s leading managers in this field. Ultimately, he resolved some of the country’s currency issues and increased the assets of the mentioned banks.”

The verdict also explicitly refers to the resolution of the case involving the managers of Mellat Bank’s trust companies, including Mohammad Aram, the CEO, Hamidreza Mirmohammad, the financial deputy, and other company directors. Furthermore, regarding the legal resolution of Abdullah Dastghib’s case, the verdict states, “Branch 15 of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of District 32 Tehran (Economic) is obliged to swiftly make an appropriate legal decision regarding the charges against Seyed Abdullah Dastghib, Abbas Zarei, and Ehsan Sakhaie concerning the repayment of the 36 million dollar loan for the purchase of a ship from Parsian Bank.”

Divandari was acquitted, but what happens to the rest?

During the years Divandari’s case was ongoing, and he constantly appeared in court as an accused, he was portrayed in the media as a corrupt economic figure, which had repercussions for him.

The question now is, with Divandari’s acquittal in court after years as the prime suspect, what will happen to the other accused, excluding those who were part of the transaction in that case,? Esmaeil Ahadi, Majid Saadati, and Ms. Samaneh Hazrati were the only employees executing the resolutions of Daris and Parsis companies under Dr. Divandari and Aram. With their complete acquittal and the existence of clear resolutions, it is evident that they are also innocent. Wouldn’t it be better to promptly resolve their situation as well in order to establish justice?


News ID 211263


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