_88607279_031843342-1An Iranian billionaire tycoon has been sentenced to death for corruption, the country’s justice official has said.

Babak Zanjani, one of Iran’s richest men, was arrested in December 2013 after accusations he withheld billions in oil revenue through his companies.

He is said to be worth around $13.5 billion – or £9.5 billion.

The long trial held in public – a rarity for such a major cased in Iran – convicted the 41-year-old business man of fraud and economic crimes.

Two other defendants were found guilty of “corruption on earth”, the most serious offence under the country’s criminal code, meaning they too will face the death penalty.

As well as facing the death penalty Mr Zanjani will also be forced to repay money to the state, judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie said at his weekly press conference.

“The preliminary court has sentenced these three defendants to be executed, as well as paying restitution to the plaintiff,” Mr Mohseni-Ejeie said.

Independent uk