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Iranian President's Brother Begins Prison Term, Claims 'Illegal' Wiretap

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (right) and his brother Hossein Fereidoun (file photo)

The brother of Iranian President Hassan Rohani has begun serving a five-year prison sentence for corruption claiming his case was based on an "illegal" wiretap.

A lawyer for Hossein Fereidoun said his client entered Tehran's Evin prison on October 16 to serve his sentence, which was handed down 15 days earlier.

In a text released as he began his sentence, Fereidoun, who has denied any wrongdoing, accused hard-liners of trying to discredit him by obtaining evidence through "illegally intercepting communications of the office of the president."

"Of course, it also doesn't help when the bailiff, the plaintiff, the judge, and the media unite," he added.

Fereidoun, a top adviser to Rohani, was arrested in 2017 and quickly released on bail following long-running corruption allegations, with the judiciary saying at the time that he was the subject of "multiple investigations."

Conservatives had demanded that Fereidoun be put on trial, accusing him of financial-corruption charges.

Earlier in October, an appeals court lowered Fereidoun's sentence to five years from seven.

Fereidoun and his brother do not share the same name because Rohani, who is considered a relative moderate within Iran's political system, changed his surname decades ago.