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Family's Lawyers Appeal to Iran's Supreme Court to Reopen Kazemi's Death in Custody Case

Source: Radio Farda Newsroom

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, lawyers of the Zahra Kazemi summoned the intelligence minister and former head of the Majles complaints committee to testify against Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi, member of the family's legal team Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah said.

August 15, 2004 - "In our appeal, we have asked for summons to be issued against intelligence minister Ali Yunesi, Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi and head of the Majles complaints commission Hossein Ansari-Rad," Tehran-baed lawyer Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah, a member of the Zahra Kazami family's legal team, told the Associated Press.

The legal team under Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has asked the Islamic Republic judiciary's Supreme Court to reopen her death in custody case, which was closed by a Tehran criminal court after it acquitted an intelligence ministry official, the only defendant.

Kazemi, 54, died in July 2003 from a blow she received to her head during interrogation at the Evin prison, where she had been taken after being arrested for photographing prisoners' families outside, according to a panel of three cabinet ministers appointed by President Khatami to probe the murder.

He said the appeal was based on the "incomplete preliminary proceedings" of the lower court and the need to reclassify Kazemi's death as murder. The only defendant in the case had been charged with "semi-intentional manslaughter," which carries a maximum punishment of three years in prison.

The intelligence minister and the former head of the Majles complaints committee, each had led separate investigations on Kazemi's death, which show that prosecutor Mortazavi was present during Kazemi's fatal interrogation.

"We hope the appeal court acts in a way that Kazemi's son (Stephan) does not have to take the case to other legal bodies outside Iran," he warned.

The judiciary said Kazemi's death seemed to have been accidental as "the only suspect" had been found not guilty.

Ebadi, who alleged in court that a justice official in Evin prison, Mohammad Bakhshi, was the real killer, renewed charges of a top-level cover-up and urged the head of the judiciary to allow an independent probe.

... Payvand News - 8/16/04 ... --

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