MPs to be Interrogated, Imprisoned and May Even be Sentenced to Death
The grand embezzlement case in the Islamic republic of Iran involving about three billion Dollars is now in a new phase. As four Majlis deputies were interrogated, some reports now talk of the possibility of death sentences for two of the defendants in the case. This is till today the judiciary’s most severe treatment of members of the legislative branch of government whose ruling faction, known as the Principlists attained a majority in the Majlis through oppressive measures against reformers and its rivals.
Speaking to reporters, Gholamreza Assadollahi, a member of the special Majlis committee investigating the grand embezzlement case announced that four Majlis deputies had been interrogated in the course of the committee’s investigations. Reports in the past had suggested that MPs may have be interrogated which these remarks now confirm. The most prominent MP implicated so far is Alaeddin Borujerdi, the head of the Majlis national security committee, who is said to have been questioned on a number of occasions. He has been accused of guiding those individuals who have been involved in the case using official stationary of his committee.
Alaeddin Borujerdi, the head of the Majlis national security committee
Mahmoud Ahmadibigesh, a member of the national Security Council in parliament had earlier said that 10 MPs were involved in this embezzlement case and he had asked the judiciary to reveal their names to the public.
In addition to Borujerdi, Arsalan Fathipour, Mohammad Dehgan, Jabar Kootchakizadeh and Samad Marashi are the other four MP s who have been linked to the embezzlement case by some domestic media. Assadollahi also revealed that two of the accused could possibly get death sentences. He did not provide a source for his opinion.
Article 90 of the Majlis has been charged by the Speaker of the Majlis Ali Larijani to provide a report on the embezzlement case. According to the secretary of the committee three reports on the case have so far been prepared, two of which are confidential and will not be published and available to the public.
Prior to this, some Principlist Majlis representatives had announced that the names of three MPs had been dropped from the committee’s report on the embezzlement case because of pressure applied on it. They had also said that six pages from the 24 page report had been eliminated because of this pressure.
The possibility of death sentences for some of those implicated in the investigation comes at a time when Gholam-Hossein Mohsenizadeh had just announced that the investigations of the defendants had not been complete.
A number of senior officials of the Islamic republic have already been implicated in this case which has received national importance because of embezzlement amount and the high profile officials involved in it. Among these officials are Mahmoud-Reza Khavari, the head of Bank Melli, Hamid Pour-Mohammadi, a deputy at the central bank of Iran and Mohammad Jahromi, the former head of Saderat Bank. These banks are among the top three in the country.
The two factions in the Principlist camp each accuse the other of having a hand in the embezzlement case. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that the principlist handlers in the case are senior managers or administrators in the Islamic republic of Iran.
Some reporters from Iran newspaper, which belongs to the government, had reported earlier that the main reason for attacks on the daily last month and efforts to arrest its editor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, was that the newspaper had published a special issue on the embezzlement case and named some of the perpetrators. This special issue was confiscated by security agents and never made it to the stands.
Ahmadinejad had said that Mohammad Jahromi had used his position as the head of the office of the supreme leader to advance his efforts in this regard but was naming the president’s office as the culprit as an effort to divert attention away from himself.
The ruling Principlists believe that the embezzlement had taken place by Ahmadinejad’s associates - which those close to ayatollah Khamenei call the “deviant current.” They accuse elements of Ahmadinejad’s inner circle of financial corruption and believe that some of this money was used in the fraudulent presidential election of 2009.
... Payvand News - 12/13/11 ... --