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Torture trial begins for Iran security chief

TEHRAN, May 3 (AFP) - The closed-door trial of the Iranian chief of security police charged with torturing officials from the Tehran municipality opened at a military court here Monday.

The official IRNA news agency said Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Naqdi has denied all charges, including ordering the torture of prisoners to force confessions, illegal detention, slander and the manipulation of evidence.

Thirty-one senior officials from the Tehran municipality filed complaints against Naqdi in connection with a corruption investigation last year that led to the ouster of then Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi.

Karbaschi, a close ally of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, was forced out of office last year and is due in Tehran's Evin prison this week to begin serving a two-year jail term for corruption.

His trial was widely seen among reformers and moderates as a politically motivated attack by the regime's conservatives and hardliners, who dominate Iran's police and judiciary.


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