Man accused of killing British journalist, Allison Baden, says ex-boyfriend was the killer

Allison Baden, the woman accused of orchestrating the murder of British journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has told a Toronto court that she is innocent and that her ex-boyfriend was the actual killer. Baden has testified…

Man accused of killing British journalist, Allison Baden, says ex-boyfriend was the killer

Allison Baden, the woman accused of orchestrating the murder of British journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has told a Toronto court that she is innocent and that her ex-boyfriend was the actual killer.

Baden has testified that her former boyfriend, Soroush Mahmudi, and his family originally said that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had come to Iran to study. But Mahmudi, who had been on the run in Iran for a year, changed his story after the murder, she said.

Baden said that she learned of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s death from a family member who was interviewing her.

“He said ‘this is not Nazanin, this is not her,’” she said.

When she called Mahmudi’s home in Richmond Hill, Ont., she was told that he had moved out, and all of his clothing was gone.

Mahmudi was arrested in Iran in November of 2016 and charged with complicity in the murder, which was reportedly motivated by “regional and religious rivalries.”

More than a year later, in October 2017, prosecutors dropped all charges against him, as well as two other men who were also charged in the case.

But at the time, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of the allegations but “unable to verify the accuracy of the information in the case.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family continues to insist that she was simply visiting her family in Iran for family days. Her case has been drawn into a public dispute between Canada and Iran, which both claimed responsibility for the death. Canada’s foreign minister went so far as to ask the prosecutor to hand over evidence to prove her innocence.

“We ask the Iranian authorities to immediately and fully disclose all the information related to the defendant’s detention and the death of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,” Stephane Dion said.

The case has also become a point of tension between the two countries. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is currently filling the seat of former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., became an outspoken critic of Iran after Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s death.

He dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s later invitation to a bilateral meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017.

“I don’t think the invitation will succeed, given Iran’s own track record on human rights,” Harper said.

Canada’s new Liberal government has been more careful about how it deals with the situation.

And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for Canada’s part in the arrest of four Iranian-Canadian citizens by the Iranian government in July 2017, although the government refused to speculate about the circumstances surrounding Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s death.

“Our government continues to raise the issue of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,” said the president’s spokesman, Cameron Ahmad. “[Secretary] Johnson emphasized the murder of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in an audience with President Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.”

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