Former Tehran prosecutor general jailed as “accessory to murder” of a dissident
Saeed Mortazavi will spend two years in prison because of his role in the death of Mohsen Ruholamini. The sentence is final without appeal to the Supreme Court. Thrown out of the judiciary in 2014, he persecuted journalists and intellectuals. In 2006, he was included in the Iranian delegation to the UN Human Rights Council.
Tehran (AsiaNews) – An Iranian court sentenced former Prosecutor General of Tehran Saeed Mortazavi to two years in prison for his role in the death of a leader of the 2009 pro-reform movement.
Mortazeri, who was in office from 2003 to 2010, was one of the most powerful men under right-wing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was charged with "accessory to murder" in connection with the death of Mohsen Ruholamini, who had been arrested during the chaotic period that followed the start of Ahmadinejad’s second term.
Ruholamini was arrested in June 2009 at the start of the protest movement against Ahmadinejad’s re-election. He died from the injuries sustained in prison.
"Mr Mortazavi was sentenced in a first instance to five years in prison, but in view of his apology to the plaintiffs, the appeals court reduced this sentence to two years in prison," conservative judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei is quoted as saying.
Mortazavi was sacked in August 2010, following public outrage over the deaths of three opponents in Kahrizak Prison, south Tehran.
According to a parliamentary commission, Amir Javadifar, Mohammad Kamrani, and Mohsen Ruholamini died from torture whilst in prison.
Two prison guards have already been sentenced to death over their death. However, the families of the victims pardoned the defendants, but asked that the investigation be extended to top officials.
Mortazavi was acquitted in a first trial following a complaint filed by the families of Javadifar and Kamrani.
As a result of this, Ruholamini's family filed a new lawsuit against the former prosecutor, who was expelled from the judiciary in 2014. His sentence is final and cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The protest movement that developed in the summer of 2009 and continued the following year against right-wing President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei led to dozens of deaths.
Thousands of people were arrested, including the main leaders of the pro-reform camp, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Moussavi.
During his career, Mortazavi became a controversial and much feared figure, who distinguished himself in the crackdown ordered by Iran’s right-wing leaders.
As a judge and then as general prosecutor, he sent to prison many opponents and shut down scores of pro-reform newspapers that criticised the establishment.
In 2006, his inclusion in an Iranian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva sparked outrage. Human rights groups protested against his presence, describing it as a provocation by Iranian authorities and a sign of contempt for the UN body.