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Iran: Court hearing held for those in charge of polls institute

Tehran, Jan 6, IRNA -- The second court hearing for those in charge of the National Institute for Research on Public Opinion was held here on Monday.

Former deputy minister of culture and the Islamic guidance, Ahmad Bourghani dismissed the charges brought against him.

He said that the Institute had been located at one of the buildings of the ministry before he took office as the deputy minister.

Bourghani said that the ministry had bought the building four years before his term in office and had located the polling institute (a private firm) at that building to carry out opinion polls at the request of government organs.

Elsewhere in his defense, he said that rls 200 million paid to the institute had not been from state fund. It has been from the private sector firms working under authority of the ministry, he said.

He said the fund provided by the private firms was used for the cultural activities upon an authority from the then minister.

"It was not a government fund. The fund had been provided by the private firms working with the Ministry and should be spent for cultural activities upon a signature from the minister," Bourghani said.

Meanwhile, IRNA Editor Mehdi Abbasi-Rad told the court that the report on the outcome of the opinion poll had been sent on the 'confidential news' being provided for the government officials.

He said that the item had appeared on the "news line" due to the technical failure which usually takes place as a random on the computer network of the news agency.

... Payvand News - 1/6/03 ... --

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