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Abdi, Qazian receive one more year for propaganda against system

Tehran, Feb 4, IRNA -- The court investigating a controversial opinion poll on Iran-US relations has added one more year to the sentences of pollsters Hossein-Ali Qazian and Abbas Abdi for propagating against the system, the press reported here on Tuesday.

The Persian-language `Abrar' daily reported that the Branch 1410 of Tehran Public Court on Monday had issued the sentences against Qazian and Abdi, thus bringing their total terms to nine and eight years.

Qazian and Abdi had already received eight and seven years each for selling information to the US-based Gallup, the French VM and Zogby polling institutes.

The Abrar stressed that the case is open with the fate of the third clause of the prosecutor's indictment on charges of collecting and keeping confidential documents still pending.

The court has announced that it is still waiting for the concerned state institutions to forward their reports and responses in that connection for any further measures regarding the case.

The institutions include Ministry of Information, the Presidential Office, the State Security Department, the Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council.

Qazian and Abdi, both working at the Ayandeh Polling and Research Institute, were apprehended last year following an opinion poll they had directed which claimed that two-thirds of citizens in Tehran favored resumption of talks with the US.

Also involved in the case is Behrouz Geranpayeh, the head of the National Institute for Research and Opinion Polls, who has been recently released on bail after several hearings in connection with the polling.

Geranpayeh has been charged with "publishing false and poisonous information" as well as "selling information to foreigners". No ruling has yet been issued against him.

The court has accused the defendants of carrying out the research on the order of the Washington-based Gallup Organization.

Other defendants in the case are a deputy from Tehran Ahmad Bourqani, Alireza Alavitabar and Mehdi Abbasi-Rad, an IRNA editor who has been charged with illegal publication of the survey by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Abdi, who was a student leader in the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, is a member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF).

... Payvand News - 2/4/03 ... --

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