Tehran ex-pros­e­cu­tor given 135 lashes for cor­rup­tion

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Tehran’s no­to­ri­ous for­mer chief pros­e­cu­tor, Said Mor­tazavi, has been sen­tenced to 135 lashes for mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion and waste of pub­lic money while head of Iran’s wel­fare pro­gram, Ira­nian me­dia re­ported yes­ter­day.

Mor­tazavi “was sen­tenced to 70 lashes for mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of pub­lic goods and 65 lashes for neg­li­gence and waste of pub­lic goods,” said Mostafa Torkhamedani, lawyer for work­ers at the So­cial Se­cu­rity Or­gan­i­sa­tion who brought the case against him, ac­cord­ing to IRIB news agency. A close ally of hard­line for­mer pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ahmedine­jad, Mor­tazavi be­came a hate fig­ure among Ira­nian re­formists dur­ing his six years as chief pros­e­cu­tor for shut­ting down dozens of their pub­li­ca­tions and jail­ing jour­nal­ists.

He was sus­pended in 2010 after par­lia­ment held him re­spon­si­ble for the deaths in cus­tody of at least three antigov­ern­ment pro­test­ers dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year’s mass demon­stra­tions against Ahmedine­jad’s con­tro­ver­sial re-elec­tion. The deaths of Mo­ham­mad Kam­rani, Amir Javad­i­far and Mohsen Ruho­lamini from in­juries sus­tained dur­ing their de­ten­tion in Kahrizak prison in south Tehran caused a pub­lic up­roar, and the jail was shut down on the or­ders of supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei.

None­the­less, Ahmedine­jad ap­pointed Mor­tazavi as head of the anti-smug­gling of­fice and later put him in charge of the wealthy so­cial wel­fare or­ga­ni­za­tion be­tween 2012 and 2013. Mor­tazavi, who was tar­geted by US sanc­tions over “sus­tained and se­vere vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights” dur­ing his time as pros­e­cu­tor, was dis­barred in Novem­ber 2014. He has also been linked to the death in cus­tody of Ira­nian-Cana­dian pho­to­jour­nal­ist Zahra Kazemi in 2003. In Septem­ber, he wrote an open let­ter ask­ing for for­give­ness over the deaths of the three pro­test­ers, say­ing they were “mar­tyrs”. Mor­tazavi can still ap­peal his sen­tence of 135 lashes.

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