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Iran: Prosecution continues in Kahrizak torture deaths

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The fourth court session involving former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi and two other judicial figures was held today, Monday April 29, and once again it was behind closed doors. Reports indicate that five judiciary staff testified today as witnesses with regard to their firsthand knowledge of the case.

Ali Akbar Heydarifar, the assistant prosecutor at the time the crimes occurred, has reportedly begun his defence.

The judge has called for a publication ban on the case; however, Heydarifar has told reporters: "Three witnesses were presented to the court by Abdolhossein Ruholamini, and if they are suspects in the case, they should not be allowed to testify."

Ali Akbar Heydarifar

Ruholamini's son is one of the three detainees killed under torture in Kahrizak Prison in 2009. Mortazavi is accused of knowingly transferring the protesters to Kahrizak, aware that they would be tortured and abused.

Kahrizak was closed down after news leaked out about the death and torture of detainees, and it has taken more than three years for the families of the victims to bring Tehran's prosecutor at the time and his assistants to court. Mortazavi was removed from his position in the judiciary in 2009 but has continued to enjoy the support of the Ahmadinejad administration.

Saeed Mortazavi (center)

Heydarifar, Mortazavi's assistant at the time, has said in court that his superior was on leave when the detainees were arrested and insists that Mortazavi was in no way involved in the order to transfer detainees to Kahrizak.

There have been conflicting reports whether Mortazavi is being tried for complicity in murder or a lesser charge.

Three detainees, Mohsen Ruholamini, Mohammad Kamrani and Amir Javadifar, died as a result of torture in Kahrizak prison in 2009, and many more were tortured and abused until Ayatollah Khamenei issued an order to close down the facility.

... Payvand News - 04/30/13 ... --

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