شنبه ۲۹ مهر ۱۳۹۶ تهران ۰۸:۲۸
HUMAN RIGHTS: Slain Journalist Family’s Lawyer Questions Jurisdiction of Court
A lawyer representing the family of the slain Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi tells Radio Farda that a court set to begin the trial of an intelligence ministry agent does not have jurisdiction to try a murder case. July 12, 2004 - A Tehran public court will next Saturday begin to try an intelligence ministry agent in the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. But Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah, a lawyer representing Kazemi’s family, tells Radio Farda's broadcaster Golnaz Esfandiari that the court lacks jurisdiction. “This is a murder case and needs to be tried by a five-judge panel in province-level penal court,” he says.
He adds that the name of Tehran prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who was accused by reformist Majles MPs of involvement in Kazemi’s death, appears in the case file, which he says he read only partially on Thursday. “The file says that Mortazavi was interrogating Kazemi in the early morning hours.”
A presidential panel of three cabinet ministers set up to probe the murder said in a report unveiled last year that Kazemi died of head injuries she suffered during the interrogation.
Dadkhah says the trial proceeding will be public, but adds that the venue of the trial is not authorized to deal with murder cases, and for that reason, the defendant will be tried on manslaughter charge.
He refuses to substantiate a claim made last week by the Paris-based advocacy group Reporters sans Frontiers that the court lacks impartiality, and the defendant is only a scapegoat who stands in for the real culprits. Dadkhah says that many in our society and around the world have shown “sensitivity” to this case, and says “conscience require that no other consideration be held above justice in this trial.”