Iran executes killer of prison chief
TEHRAN, March 14 (AFP) - Iran has executed the killer of former prison
chief Assadollah Lajevardi who was gunned down in August, Tehran's revolutionary
court announced on Sunday.
Ali Asghar Ghazanfarnejad Jolodar, said to be a member of Iran's main
armed opposition movement the People's Mujahedeen, was executed Saturday
at Tehran's Evin prison, the court said in a statement, the official IRNA
news agency reported.
It said the court sentenced the "terrorist" to death on charges
of making "war against the Islamic republic" by supporting the
Mujahedeen, involvement in the murder and being "corrupt on earth,"
Lajevardi, 63, and two other justice officials were gunned down outside
his tailor's shop prison in Tehran's Grand Bazaar on August 23 (eds: correct).
A second "terrorist" responsible for the killings committed
suicide by swallowing cyanide, the agency said.
The attack was claimed at the time by the Baghdad-based Mujahedeen.
IRNA said Jolodar had gone AWOL from the military and fled to Iraq
in 1996 where he joined the Mujahedeen and then returned with a comrade
"in an attempt to harm the Islamic republic."
A close follower of Iran's late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, Lajevardi himself was arrested several times during the shah's
reign and tortured in Evin prison, where he was appointed director following
the 1979 Islamic revolution.
He was accused of overseeing widespread acts of torture and other human-rights
violations in the 1980s, when the Islamic regime waged a merciless campaign
against opposition groups.
Lajevardi was promoted in 1989 to the post of director of the country's
prison system, a position he held until February last year when he was
His dismissal followed allegations of torture of Tehran municipality
officials who were in prison on charges of embezzlement, although the two
incidents were not publicly linked.