Our firm frequently represents people charged in significant federal cases. We have over 20 years of experience defending people charged in these types of cases, some involving international matters. At times, the media will contact us for comments about our clients’ involvement or position on the charges. When it is in the best interest of our clients, we will speak with media in order to have our client’s side of the story heard by the public.
Our firm represents Ms. Maryam Jazayeri, one of several people who was charged with Iran trade sanction violations in 2016. Attorney Page Pate was contacted by Politico to discuss the recent dismissal of the case against his client and the trade of one of her co-defendants for a U.S. citizen being held by Iran.
Dr. Soleimani, an Iranian professor at the University of Tehran who is known for his stem cell research was indicted on June 12, 2018, a month after President Trump signed an order withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal. He was subsequently arrested while traveling to the United States for work and was held in jail without bond until last week. The case against Dr. Soleimani was dismissed as part of a prisoner swap agreement with Iran. He was traded for an American graduate student, Xiyue Wang, who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to a 10 year prison sentence in Iran.
Ms. Jazayeri, was a student of Dr. Masoud Soleimani and was charged along with another student of Dr. Soleimani’s, Ms. Mahboobe Ghaedi, for trying to get human growth hormones to Dr. Soleimani in Iran. After the completion of the prisoner swap of Dr. Soleimani, the government also dismissed the case against Ms. Jazayeri and Ms. Ghaedi, a day before Ms. Ghaedi was scheduled to enter a guilty plea in the case.
When interviewed about the dismissals, Page told Politico “As a result of the president’s swap, the local [federal] prosecutors in Atlanta felt it would simply be unfair to proceed against the other two remaining defendants.” He also said that Ms. Jazayeri “…had rejected the government’s plea offer, and we were going to go to trial Feb. 24.” Page said they were going to explain to a jury that she didn’t know that the growth factors she attempted to take to Dr. Soleimani needed an export license, and that they were exempt from sanctions because they were medical supplies.
Politico also asked Page about his knowledge about any resistance the Justice Department may have had to the deal with Iran, and he said he did not have any direct knowledge but said, “I certainly did see friction in the government’s case, and that usually happens when the local prosecutors is acting under strict direction from main Justice — from somebody in D.C. That felt like the dynamic here.”