PARIS, (AP) – A young French academic arrested in Iran following last year’s disputed presidential elections has left the country and is on a plane returning home, France’s presidential palace said Sunday.
Clotilde Reiss, 25, was convicted of provoking unrest and spying in the aftermath of Iran’s June election, but the 10-year jail term was commuted to a fine of 3 billion rials ($300,000). Her lawyer said he paid the fine Saturday.
The French government insisted on Reiss’ innocence and pressed frequently for her release.
Reiss boarded a French government plane in Dubai and is en route to France, a statement from the president’s office said. On her return later Sunday she and her family are to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.
Reiss was arrested in July and released on bail after a month and a half in custody, but only on condition that she remain at the French Embassy in Tehran until her trial was over.
She was among more than 100 politicians, journalists and activists accused of trying to engineer a “velvet revolution” to overthrow the Islamic leadership. She pleaded innocent.
The verdict came Saturday, about a week after Majid Kakavand, an Iranian detained in France on accusations he evaded export controls to purchase U.S. technology over the Internet to sell to Iran’s military, was allowed to leave France and return home.
The United States had been seeking Kakavand’s extradition, but a French court rejected the request last week. The U.S. claimed he went online to purchase sensitive U.S. electronics and had them shipped to Malaysia, then on to Iranian military entities.