The Iranian


email us

Flower delivery in Iran

Fly to Iran

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    News & views

Khatami urged to settle Iran police-judiciary row

TEHRAN, April 6 (Reuters) - The head of Iran's secret police urged President Mohammad Khatami to intervene to settle a row with the judiciary over the custody of suspects held for shooting a top reformer.

Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi accused the judiciary of cutting short a high-profile inquiry by his services into last month's murder attempt against Saeed Hajjarian, a close ally of Khatami, by demanding custody of the suspects.

``Despite earlier agreements, the suspects and the shooting case were taken away from the intelligence ministry, and we could not fulfil our legal duties,'' he said in a letter to the president published in newspapers on Thursday.

``We request that you, who are tasked with overseeing the constitution, set up a team to investigate the issue.''

The intelligence ministry handed over the suspects this week after a direct public request by Tehran's top judge for his courts to take custody of the prisoners.

Judge Abbasali Alizadeh said the move was to protect the suspects, all Islamic extremists, suggesting that at least one of them had been tortured during interrogation.

But Yunesi said the charges were ``incorrect and surprising,'' adding that they had ``disturbed public opinion.''

Last month, Khatami ordered the intelligence ministry to root out political violence, widely believed to be waged by Islamic hardliners to undermine his liberal reforms.

Reformers, whose influence is growing in the secret police, say Hajjarian's shooting may be part of a wider scheme by hardliners within the clerical establishment and the elite Revolutionary Guards to destabilise Khatami's government.

At least one of the suspects is a member of the Revolutionary Guards, and the elite force made the arrests. But the Guards have denied any role in the shooting, which left Hajjarian hospitalised in critical condition.

Reformers fear that a quick trial of the suspects may spoil the opportunity to shed light on the roots of the violence. Some have suggested there might be political motives behind the judiciary's move to take quick custody of the suspects.

The judiciary is independent of the Khatami government and remains in Islamic conservative hands despite a recent reshuffle in its top echelon. On Thursday, the judiciary defended its move to take custody of the prisoners.

``It is up to the judge to decide whether the investigation is complete or not. The judiciary makes the ultimate decision,'' judiciary spokesman Hossein Sadeqi told state television.

``The prisoners cannot be kept in a place which is not trusted by the judge and the judiciary.''

Judge Alizadeh had earlier said his courts would allow the intelligence ministry to complete its investigation under the court's supervision. ``There are no obstacles. They can interrogate the suspects whenever they like...,'' he said.


 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.