Lawyer: Assassin Who Killed Iranian PM May Be Freed

A lawyer says the man convicted of assassinating former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar in France in 1991 could be freed soon and expelled to Iran.

The lawyer for Iranian Ali Vakili Rad says a three-judge panel has accepted his client's request to be freed after 18 years in prison. Rad was given a life sentence, but early releases are possible under French law.

Sorin Margulis said after Wednesday's hearing at Poissy prison outside the French capital that a Paris court must make a final decision on March 9.

Rad strangled and stabbed Bakhtiar at his home outside Paris, where he was living in exile.

Margulis said Rad's request to be freed "was accepted in principle" and that if the court agrees, he will be expelled to Iran.