Report: Iran prosecutor acquitted in 2009 protester killings

Fromer general prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi talks to the press at Geneva on June 21, 2006 (AP)

A former prosecutor in Tehran has been acquitted of murder charges over the 2009 killing of three detained protesters at a prison he oversaw, Iranian state television reported on Wednesday.

Saeed Mortazavi faced charges over the killing of the detainees amid widespread protests against then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed 2009 re-election. The case significantly embarrassed Iranian authorities and drew some of the fiercest criticism against Iran's government and its treatment of those arrested following the election.

The website of Iranian state television quoted Mojtaba Nazari, the lawyer for Iran’s social security fund, as announcing the court's decision in the case.

Nazari said Mortazavi was sentenced to serve six months in prison over receiving “illegal money” during his time as the head of the social security fund.

The report did not elaborate on how Mortazavi obtained the money, but said he would have to pay it back. Mortazavi could not be immediately reached for comment.

A parliamentary probe in 2010 found Mortazavi responsible for torturing the three to death at Kahrizak prison a month after their arrest. He was suspended as Tehran prosecutor general and the case remained open for a judicial investigation. However, Mortazavi previously was only briefly arrested in 2013 over the Kahrizak case.

During his years as a prosecutor and a judge, Mortazavi was dubbed the “butcher of the press” for closing more than 120 newspapers and imprisoning dozens of journalists and political activists over his career.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48