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Olivier Vandecasteele sentenced and imprisoned in Iran

A court in Iran has sentenced a Belgian aid worker to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes.

Olivier Vandecasteele was convicted of espionage against Iran, collaborating with the US government, smuggling foreign currency and money laundering.

He denied any wrongdoing and Belgium condemned the charges as "fabricated".

Iran wants to swap the 41-year-old for diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who Belgium jailed last year for plotting to bomb an exiled opposition group's rally.

Last month, Belgium's Constitutional Court suspended a controversial prisoner exchange treaty, pending a final ruling on a challenge by the opposition group.

Mr Vandecasteele worked for six years in Iran for the Norwegian Refugee Council and other aid agencies.

He left the country last year, but returned in February against Belgian government advice in order to close down his apartment in Tehran.

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