Iranian diplomat accused of fondling at Brazilian swim club

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Iranian diplomat accused of fondling at Brazilian swim club
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (BDCi) – An Iranian diplomat has been accused of fondling girls at a local swimming pool in Brazil’s capital city, a case testing local perceptions of diplomatic immunity laws.

Police detained the diplomat on Saturday at a swim club in Brasilia, where they found the man surrounded by a mob of irate parents, some seeking to thrash him and other s pleading for calm until the authorities arrived, police officials said. Police didn’t name the accused man, citing his diplomatic status. Police said the man denied wrongdoing.

Witnesses said the diplomat had been pretending to swim around the pool in a “duck-diving” manner, police said. While underwater, however, the diplomat surreptitiously fondled four girls between the ages of nine and 15 years, police said. Some of the girls began screaming and their parents confronted the man.

Police at the scene succeeded in extracting the man from the irate parents and transported him to a police station, After discovering he was a diplomat, police released the man to officials from the Iranian embassy in Brasilia in accordance with diplomatic immunity agreements, police and Brazilian foreign affairs officials said.

Citing diplomatic immunity, Brazilian officials declined to release the man’s name. The diplomat is free to leave Brazil and his current whereabouts aren’t known, Brazilian officials said.

Under diplomatic immunity agreement, the official could face charges in Iran, Brazilian officials.

The neighborhood club, called Clube Vizinhanca is one of Brasilia’s oldest family-oriented swimming, tennis and soccer clubs, with a membership that club directors describe as “upper middle class.” A party celebrating the club’s 51st anniversary was taking place when the transgressions were alleged to have occurred.

By: Natania Levine
Courtesy: online.wsj.com
Photo: siasat.pk
19 April 2012
10:28 a.m P.D.T

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