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Lawyer calls for re-examination of Aghajari's statements by team of academicians, clerics

A team of academicians and clerics was requested to re-examine the statements of University professor Hashem Aghajari who was sentenced to death by a court in the western Iranian city of Hamedan for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammad to prove Aghajari is not suffering from mental disorder, IRNA reporetd from Tehran on Monday.

Saleh Nikbakht, lawyer of Aghajari whose death sentence has been earlier dropped by the Supreme Court, said he had called for re-examination of his client's statements by a joint team of academicians and clerics to prove the reality.

Nikbakht told reporters said his client and him want the case to be reviewed regardless of political considerations and tendencies.

He referred to the remarks by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah seyed Ali Khamenei as for the prime importance of the administration of justice and called on the Judiciary to pay heed to the issue.

Nikbakht said levelling mental disorders accusations against the imprisoned university professor is an outrage to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and higher education centers.

Reportedly, Aghajari himself has denounced as an "insult" a recent verdict by the Supreme Court that he should go through a psychological examination, stressing that he would only stand an open trial to defend against the charges.

Aghajari has been sentenced to death by a court in the western Iranian city of Hamedan for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammad.

Student demonstrations were held in reaction to the death verdict against academic who had challenged the emulation underscoring the need for explanations from the religious leaders on the decisions they make binding for their followers.

In the aftermath of the court verdict against Aghajari, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised the Judiciary not to act in a way to bring itself open to criticism.

The Leader called on the Judiciary to review the verdict to save the innocent life as per a request made by several academics asking for the Supreme Leader's intervention. Several religious leaders have dismissed Hamedan court interpretation bringing the charge of blasphemy against Aghajari.

Finally the Supreme Court dropped Aghajari's death sentence and decided that the academic be examined by five legal specialist physicians to test his mental balance.

... Payvand News - 3/18/03 ... --

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