In a surprise announcement, a judiciary official in provincial Iran said a woman who had been convicted and sentenced to stoning for adultery had also been convicted of murder.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two in the Tabriz area, had been convicted of cheating on her late husband, apparently a murder victim, and sentenced to die by stoning, a ruling that is officially under review, according to Iranian judiciary officials.
But on Sunday, Malek Ejdar Sharifi, head of East Azerbaijan Province’s judiciary, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency (in Persian): “Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has not been convicted of illicit sex only,” he said. “”She has been found guilty of numerous and extremely heavy offenses. She was sentenced to capital punishment [in 2006] in the criminal court in Tabriz, the center of the province, for committing murder, manslaughter and adultery.”
That’s fresh news. Up until Sharifi’s comments, Iranian officials and her lawyer said she was only convicted of adultery. Her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai, said his client had been convicted of having a hand in her husband’s death but that the charge played no role in the death sentence against her, especially since her children did not want to pursue the murder charge against their mother. She was handed a 10-year sentence for the murder, her lawyer said.