A Korean man sentenced to seven years in jail for spying in Iran was denied a lawyer at trial, officials here said Tuesday. The Iranian government also refused permission for a Korean consular official to attend the trial, citing security reasons.
Kim was arrested in October last year on charges of taking photos of police stations, foreign embassies and other "sensitive" landmarks.
But the Iranian authorities only informed the Korean Embassy in Tehran of his arrest more than two months late, when the Foreign Ministry here made inquiries after his family reported that they lost touch with him during his trip.
A Foreign Ministry official here on Monday claimed consular officials met Kim seven times and a lawyer once since January. But it turns out that the lawyer met him early this month, only after he was sentenced in September.
Even though he was tried in an ordinary civilian court, he was denied a lawyer.
In interviews with Korean consular officials, Kim said he had studied in the U.K. for 10 years and went to Iran as a tourist following trips to Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
He said he was on his way back home to Korea after finishing his studies in the U.K. in the middle of last year. All his family are in Seoul.