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7/19/04

Iran: Lawyers of Zahra Kazemi say prelimary investigation in her case insufficient

Tehran, July 19, IRNA -- The four lawyers representing the aggrieved family of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, told the court hearing her case in Tehran on Sunday that the preliminary investigation conducted prior to the filing of the case was deficient.

The lawyers, who appeared at a press conference after the second day of trial on Sunday, called for a correction of the deficiency.


photo: ISNA

Nobel laureate and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, who heads the team of lawyers representing the Kazemi family, vehemently asked the court to delay any judgment on the case until the deficiency is corrected.

Asked who she thought was the real defendant in the case, she answered: "Who does the complainant really hold as responsible for the murder?"


photo: ISNA

As a lawyer representing the aggrieved family, she said her interest is to have the killer or killers punished but that she would not say whether the accused in the case is guilty or not.

The accused in the current case is an intelligence agent who has pleaded not guilty on arraignment.

Ebadi was referring to a rule in criminal procedure which requires a preliminary investigation to be carried out sufficiently to establish a case of reasonable guilt before an accused can be held for trial. She said this part of the criminal procedure had not been properly carried out.


photo: ISNA

Another member of Kazemi's legal defense team, Abdolfattah Soltani, stressed the need to recreate the scene of the crime, saying the lawyer for the accused, Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, the four lawyers representing the Kazemi family and the Ministry of Information were all of the opinion that this was necessary.

Zahra Kazemi, a freelance photojournalist, was arrested on June 23, 2003 while illegally taking pictures of Tehran's Evin Prison during a period of unrest.

While in custody, and in the course of investigations, she died on July 10, 2003 in hospital of what was initially said to be a stroke.

An autopsy conducted on her body revealed that she died of a brain hemorrhage caused by a blow to her head.

... Payvand News - 7/19/04 ... --



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