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Iran: Ebadi informed of date of court session on Zahra Kazemi's case

Tehran, June 14, IRNA -- The Public Relations Department of Tehran's Justice Department said on Monday that the time of court session for examination of the case of the late photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, had been personally notified to Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer of the family of late Kazemi.

A statement issued by the department also ruled out certain media reports that Ebadi, the 2002 Noble Peace Prize winner and a member of the team of lawyers investigating the Kazemi case, had not been informed of the date of the court.

It also refuted claims raised by another member of the team of lawyers Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah in that connection and said he had not been informed of the issue.

Head of Tehran's Justice Department Abbasali Alizadeh had earlier said the court session dealing with the case would be held the Special Criminal Court on July 17.

The case concerning the death of Zahra Kazemi, who worked as a freelance photojournalist for a Canadian news media, was first referred to the Tehran criminal court for investigation after Tehran public and revolutionary as well as military courts refused to handle it on the ground it was outside their jurisdiction.

A first hearing on the case was held by the criminal court on October 2, 2003. Five people were arrested for alleged involvement in her death on warrants issued by the court. Four were later released for lack of evidence.

An ad hoc committee formed on the order of President Mohammad Khatami released a report saying Kazemi died from a skull fracture sustained while in custody.

The 53-year-old Iranian photojournalist, who held dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship, worked for the Camera Press Journal.

She was arrested in July while illegally taking pictures from Evin Prison in Tehran and from there whisked away to the information ministry, where she complained of being unwell and was taken to hospital.

She died several days later in hospital, the cause of her death stated to be brain hemorrhage.

The journalist's death triggered a spat between the Iranian and Canadian governments after Tehran rejected Ottawa's demand that her body be taken to Canada for burial.

Ottawa recalled its ambassador here, Philip MacKinnon, while Iran summoned the Canadian Charge d'Affaires, Gilles Poirier, to explain the mysterious circumstances behind the death of a 19-year-old Iranian in Vancouver based on evidence pointing to the Canadian police's involvement.

Following the completion of the special committee's investigations, the file was sent to Bench 1158 of the Justice Department charged with investigating criminal offenses on June 25, 2003.

... Payvand News - 6/14/04 ... --

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