Iran Overturns Game Developer's Death SentenceS

There is new hope for the survival of an American sentenced to death in Iran for spying today, as Iran has overturned the death sentence for Amir Hekmati.

Judges have said the case was "not complete", according to a BBC report and have ordered a retrial.

"There were objections to the verdict by the Supreme Court," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei said during a news conference in Tehran, as quoted by the Iranian news agency Isna and quoted by the BBC. "The Supreme Court found shortcomings in the case and sent it for review by an affiliate court."

Hekmati was sentenced to death in January after appearing to confess on Iranian television in December that he was a spy for the CIA. As part of his spy work, he said in the confession, he helped make games for a New York-based game development studio called Kuma, which he asserted was a CIA front.

The U.S. government and Hekmati's family have denied that Hekmati was a spy and have said the confession was not legitimate.

U.S. Department of Defense records indicate that Hekmati was involved in a language-training video game project pitched by Kuma to help members of the military learn and retain foreign language skills while abroad. Kuma representatives have not responded to requests for comment about Hekmati's involvement with the company.

Hekmati's mother was allowed to visit him in prison last month. His window to appeal his sentence had seemed to expire. But it now appears that the Iranian regime may have found their own reason to spare the life of the first American sentenced to die in their country in the three decades since the Islamic revolution.

Iran overturns death sentence for 'CIA spy' Hekmati [BBC]

(Top photo: Hekmati on Iranian TV | AP)