Iran court delays verdict on German in sex case
TEHRAN, Aug 11 (Reuters) - An Iranian court postponed a verdict on
Wednesday in the case of a German charged with having sex wih a Moslem
Defence lawyer Malek-Houshang Qahari said the court, sitting behind
closed doors, was still investigating the case against businessman Helmut
``I don't know when the verdict will be issued, but what is certain
is that Hofer will be acquitted. It only has to be investigated,'' he
Hofer, 58, showed no emotion as he was whisked in and out of the court
in downtown Tehran under heavy security, wearing a grey Iranian prison
Journalists and photographers were not allowed to talk to him or take
Hofer was sentenced to death last year for having sex with a 27-year-old
unmarried medical student.
But in February Iran's supreme court threw out the execution order
passed against him by two lower courts pending a retrial.
Under Iran's Islamic law a non-Moslem can be executed for having sex
with a Moslem woman outside of marriage.
The penalty for adultery for a Moslem is death but an unmarried Moslem
who has sex outside of marriage is punished with 100 lashes.
Hofer was released on bail in April but was rearrested last week, allegedly
for having ties with ``suspicious'' foreign elements and out of fear he
might flee Iran.
But his lawyer said there were no new charges against Hofer.
Hofer's return to Evin prison followed the announcement last month that
German authorities had arrested an Iranian national for allegedly spying
on Iranian dissidents in Germany. Iran denies the allegation.