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Iran Judiciary Chief asks prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to deal with culprits in Kazemi's death severely

Judiciary Chief Ayatollah seyed Mahmoud Shahroudi, appreciating the president's timely and quick order for investigation about Zahra Kazemi's death, asked the Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to deal with those involved in her death according to the laws, as soon as possible, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Ayatollah Shahroudi who was speaking at the weekly gathering of the judiciary officials, said, "The four ministers appointed by resident Khatami have prepared a comprehensive account of the event, a copy of which was sent to me by the president."

Appreciating the efforts made by the four ministers in charge, Shahroudi said, "Their report has been delivered to the judiciary or careful and speedy consideration, and the signature of the esteemed health minster at its bottom makes the judiciary's task easier."

Ayatollah Shahroudi assured that the possible involved parties in the issue would definitely be punished by the judiciary.

According to the delegation appointed by the president, the reason or the death of the photo jounalist Zahra Kazemi, 54, on July 11 in ne of Tehran's hospitals, has been announced as "brain hemorrhage, due to strike on the head."

Kazemi who worked for a Canadian journal was arrested while taking hotographs in front of Tehran's Evin Prison on June 23.

Following this Iranian photojournalists' death, President Khatami appointed a committee comprised of the ministers of Culture nd Islamic Guidance, Interior, and Judiciary, to survey the matter and report to him immediately.

President asks Shahroudi to hold judicial inquiry into Kazemi's death

President Mohammad Khatami on Monday forwarded the findings of the probe into the death of Mrs Zahra Kazemi to the Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi and called for legal inquiries into the case, IRNA reported from Tehran.

In a letter to Ayatollah Shahroudi, President Khatami said that legal action against those probably involved in the attack will prove that justice is being observed and the rights of every individual are respected.

The president expressed condolence to Mrs Kazemi's family.

The inquiry conducted by five cabinet ministers found that Mrs Kazemi's death was caused by a fracture in her skull while she was under arrest.

Karroubi dismisses questions on prosecutor in journalist's death case

Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on Tuesday rejected criticism about submitting the case on the death of Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi to Tehran prosecutor for investigation, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"Naturally when somebody is treated unfairly, the Judiciary has to probe into that," he told reporters at the floor of the parliament when asked if Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi was fit to handle the case.

President Mohammad Khatami on Monday sent a special committee's findings on the death of the 54-year-old journalist to Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi.

The judiciary has to launch its own investigation to find out if anyone was to blame for the death of the victim, who died while in custody.

The ad hoc committee, formed on President Khatami's order, has said that Kazemi died after her skull was fractured either 'because a hard object hit her head or her head hit a hard object'.

A key Khatami ally and MP from Tehran, Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pour, told IRNA Tuesday that 'given the president's emphasis that those responsible for Zahra Kazemi's death be established, the special committee's report in this case has not completely answered Mr. Khatami's questions'.

Ministry of Culture has said that the journalist was arrested last month while illegally taking pictures from Evin prison in Tehran and whisked away to Information (Intelligence) Ministry, where he felt unwell and was taken to hospital.

Several days later, she was pronounced dead from brain stroke on July 11, the head of the ministry's foreign media office, Mohammad-Hossein Khoshvaqt said.

The 54-year-old journalist worked for Canada's Camera Press magazine. Iran has rejected Canada's request to transfer the journalist's body to that country, saying, "Mrs. Kazemi is an Iranian citizen and in this case we will act according to the will of her family."

... Payvand News - 7/22/03 ... --

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