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Editors-in-chief of three dailies stand trial in Iran

Hearing of the charges brought against the editors-in chief of three dailies -- Nassim Saba, Sports Kayhan and Asia -- was held at Bench 1083 of Tehran Penal Court on Wednesday, IRNA reporte from Tehran.

Nassim Saba's editor-in-chief, Majid Qassemi Feizabadi was the first to be summoned by the judge to respond to charges against him.

One of the charges brought up against him, which was read by the representative of the public prosecutor, Ahmad Beigi, concerned the publication of parts of the letter addressed to Hashem Aghajeri by the Islamic Revolution Mujahedeen Organization (IRMO).

Beigi called on the court to take action against the accused, given that the published material was false and an insult to the judiciary system.

In response, Feizabadi defended himself and said that since the IRMO file related to the specified letter is currently under probe, it would be better to postpone Nassim Saba's case until the hearing on the related file is over.

Turning to IRMO as one of the country's officially recognized factions, he said that publication of its communique was in line with the duties of news dissemination and the basic task of the press.

The editor-in-chief rejected any bad intention in connection with the published material, adding that insult to the judiciary system is just the interpretation of other parties.

Beigi then read out the charges brought up against the editor-in-chief of Asia daily, Saqi Baqerinia, concerning the banned photos published in the daily under a column dubbed 'Internet Joking'.

He said that the media department of the State Inspectorate Organization has also filed a similar complaint.

He called on the court and jury to take legal actions against the accused and issue a verdict against her respectively, in view of the press law, according to which publication of photos violating ethical principles in the press is banned.

Baqerinia said that she herself had seen the photo, but given that it was black-and-white, it was unclear and details could not be distinguished. She added that following its publication the distribution of the paper was immediately suspended once public reaction was made known.

She added that there was no deliberate intention in publishing the photo and that the journalist who had picked it up was fired immediately and stringent supervision was applied afterwards.

Then the complaint filed against the editor-in-chief of Sports Kayhan daily, Mohammad Sa'id Madani by the Head of Martial Arts Federation Mohammad Pouladgar accusing him of publishing false material was read out.

In his defense, Madani said that during the daily's 50-year publication, this is the second time any charge has been brought up against it.

Once Madani responded to the charges against him, the judge declared the end of the session and added that the rulings on the related files would be announced once the jury declare their verdicts.

... Payvand News - 1/29/04 ... --

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