Iranian president (photo, nouvelobs.com) said he will not intervene in the case of the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, who has been jailed for spying.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he did not “pass judgement over judicial cases”. He also added that he was “sure that she is not being mistreated” in prison in Tehran.
Separately, in a bid to have Ms Saberi freed, her partner wrote an emotional love letter.
The 31-year-old reporter is a victim of Iran’s “political games”, said Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi, whose films have won prizes in Cannes and Berlin.
He also said he was worried about Ms Saberi’s health and depressed state.
Adding that “she is innocent and guiltless” of the charges, he asked to be allowes to testify at her appeal.
The Revolutionary Court in Tehran tried and sentenced Ms Saberi last week, behing closed doors. She was jailed for eight years on charges of being an American spy.
According to her father, her appeal against the sentence could be heard as early as next week.
Although during the ABC News interview Mr Ahmadinejad was asked whether he would free Ms Saberi as a humanitarian goodwill gesture, following US President Barack Obama’s recent personal assurance that she was not a spy, the Iranian president stressed that it was up to the courts to decide what to do.
“I am not a judge, and I do not pass judgment over judicial cases”, said president Ahmadinejad, in the interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“In Iran, the judiciary is independent. I have stressed like others she should be accorded her full rights.”
The Iranian president also refused his interviewer’s request to be allowed to see Roxana Saberi for himself in order to check the she was safe.