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Iran's Judiciary says military court should probe Kazemi's death

Iran's Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said in Tehran on Wednesday that the military court should probe the case of the deceased Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, IRNA reported.

Elham told IRNA that the interrogator of Tehran Prosecutor's Office has announced that he had completed preliminary studies into the case, and that any further probe into the issue is "within the jurisdiction of the military court."

"Under the laws, the Tehran Prosecutor's Office and the public prosecutor should probe any crime in the first place," he said.

"Accordingly, the very first probes were conducted at the Tehran Prosecutor's Office with regard to Kazemi's death."

Kazemi was arrested while taking photo from Evin prison compound on June 23. She was taken to hospital three days later after complaining of poor health during interrogation.

The 54-year-old photojournalist, who was working for Canada's Camera Press journal, was pronounced dead from brain hemorrhage in a Tehran hospital on July 11.

President Mohammad Khatami immediately after Kazemi's death ordered four of his ministers to form a special committee and investigate the issue.

The committee in a final report on Sunday stressed that Kazemi had died from a blow to her head that had fractured her skull.

It is not still clear whether the blow had been intentional or accidental.

Elham said the final report by the presidential committee showed that the only authority to follow up the issue is the Judiciary.

Kazemi was held by three different organizations while in detention that respectively included the Tehran Prosecutor's Office, the Police and the Ministry of Information.

"Based on the available documents, the public prosecutor, himself, took all the necessary measures before the presidential committee to investigate Kazemi's death started its work," Elham said.

"Also, certain parts of the final report by the presidential committee were based on the findings prepared by the Tehran Justice Department, and no institution has been blamed for the incident."

She was buried in her birthplace, the southern city of Shiraz, on Wednesday morning based on her mother's consent.

... Payvand News - 7/23/03 ... --

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