Iranian Oxford student told to pay £3.7m 'torture' damages
Guardian / R. Neate, S. Kamali Dehghan and L.Porte

Son of Iran's ex-president denies business rival's claims of alleged torture in 1990s as Canadian court issues writ in absentia.

Lawyers entered Oxford University Wednesday in an attempt to serve legal papers on the son of a former ruler of Iran, demanding he pay millions in compensation for his "torture" of a business rival.

Mehdi Rafsanjani Hashemi, undertaking a doctorate on Iran's constitution, was found liable in absentia by a Canadian court for imprisoning and torturing a rival in the 1990s. Ontario's superior court of justice ordered Hashemi, fourth son of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's president from 1989 to 1997, to pay total damages of £3.7m to Houshang Bouzari and his family.

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