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January 13

Iran hands down jail terms over controversial German conference

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Iran on Saturday handed down long jail terms to several leading reformists over an "un-Islamic" conference in Germany that prosecutors charged was aimed at overthrowing the clerical regime. The verdict will surely further strain relations with Germany, Iran's largest trading partner, as German press reports said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had called off a planned visit to the Islamic republic >>> FULL TEXT

Akbar Ganji gets 10 years in prison

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Journalist Akbar Ganji has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a further five years of exile from Tehran for attending an "un-Islamic" political conference in Germany, sources told AFP Saturday. Interpreters Said Sadr and reformist Khalil Rostam-Khani, were given 10 and nine years respectively for attending the conference last April, a family of one of the accused said >>> FULL TEXT

Iran Journalist Sentenced to Prison

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's leading investigative journalist has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and five years in internal exile for attending a conference in Germany that authorities said harmed Iran's image, his lawyer said Saturday. Journalist Akbar Ganji was among 16 people tried on charges of ``undermining Iran's security'' for participating in the conference last year on reforms in Iran. >>> FULL TEXT

Schroeder not planning to visit Iran, govt says

BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder does not have concrete plans to visit to Iran following President Mohammed Khatami's state visit to Germany last year, a spokeswoman said on Saturday. The spokeswoman declined to comment on a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel saying Schroeder had cancelled for the time being a proposed trip to Iran in the spring because of a controversial trial in Iran against pro-reform activists >>> FULL TEXT

Female newspaper chief given two-year work-ban

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - Tehran's press court issued a two-year work ban on Fatemeh Farahmandpour, director of the now-banned reformist Gounagoun weekly, the official IRNA news agency reported Saturday. Farahmandpour, who was informed of the court's verdict Thursday, said as her "biggest" protest that she would refuse to file an appeal >>> FULL TEXT

Schroeder decides against Iran visit: magazine

BERLIN, Jan 13 (AFP) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has decided against a visit to Iran this spring because of the unfavourable political climate, the weekly Der Spiegel reports in its latest edition, which goes on sale Monday. Germany has recently made several protests to Tehran over the prosecution of people who took part in a conference last April in Berlin, which Tehran deemed "un-Islamic." >>> FULL TEXT

Trial ends for 1998 dissident murders, verdict due in two weeks

TEHRAN, Jan 13 (AFP) - A Tehran military court on Saturday wound up the trial of 18 intelligence agents charged with the 1998 murders of several dissidents, state radio reported. Defence lawyers now have until Thursday to present a final defence of their clients, all but two of whom have admitted some role in the murders. The court will then issue a verdict within a week and inform the defendants by January 27, it said >>> FULL TEXT

January 12

Lawyer for murder victims' families reported out on bail

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (AFP) - The lawyer for the families of two murdered Iranian dissidents, who was jailed for alleging that a series of killings at the end of 1998 were part of a wider plot, has been freed on bail, a student news agency said. Nasser Zarafshan, who represented the relatives of murdered writers Mohammed Mokhtari and Mohammad Pouyandeh, was released Wednesday on bail of 400 million rials (60,000 dollars), the ISNA agency reported >>> FULL TEXT

January 11

Columnist sentenced to eight months in prison

TEHRAN, Jan 11 (AFP) - Satirical journalist Ebrahim Nabavi has been sentenced to eight months in prison by Tehran's press court, the government daily Iran reported Thursday. Nabavi was accused by the court of "publishing lies, insults against officials of the regime and unfounded accusations" against them >>> FULL TEXT

January 10

Court calls ex-intelligence chief over 1998 dissident murders

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (AFP) - Former intelligence minister has been summoned to court as an "informed person" in the trial of 18 secret agents for the 1998 murders of several dissidents, press reports said Wednesday. Ali Fallahian, who headed the ministry from 1993 to 1997 under then-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, has been asked to answer questions over the killings, the pro-reform Hambastigi paper said >>> FULL TEXT

January 9

Murder defendants all secret agents: official

TEHRAN, Jan 9 (AFP) - All 18 defendants on trial for the 1998 murders of several Iranian dissidents and intellectuals are intelligence agents, Iranian TV on Tuesday quoted Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi as saying. "All of them belong to the intelligence service and their faces will not be made public," he said, the first time an Iranian official has publicly confirmed all 18 are linked to the secret service.

January 8

Iran militants say secret agents tortured in jail

TEHRAN, Jan 8 (Reuters) - A group of Islamic militants have accused senior clerics close to Iran's supreme leader of involvement in the cover-up of alleged torture against secret agents involved in the serial murders of dissidents >>> FULL TEXT

15 ex-agents plead guilty

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Fifteen former Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents on trial for the murders of four government critics have pleaded guilty, a newspaper reported Monday. The two other defendants denied direct involvement in the killings after nine sessions of the closed-door trial, the reformist daily Hambastegi said >>> FULL TEXT

No verdict yet in trial of reformists over "un-Islamic" meeting

TEHRAN, Jan 8 (AFP) - Defence lawyers said Monday the verdict from a Tehran revolutionary court on Iranian reformists who attended a controversial "un-Islamic" conference in Germany has been postponed. The court has said the meeting, attended by several allies of President Mohammad Khatami, was aimed at overthrowing the clerical regime, meaning those convicted could be facing long jail terms or worse >>> FULL TEXT

January 6

Amputations should halt until economy is fixed: Iran paper

TEHRAN, Jan 6 (AFP) - A conservative Iranian daily urged Saturday that amputating the fingers of thieves, as called for under Iran's Islamic law, be called off until the nation's struggling economy is repaired. "The worsening economic situation is imposing a heavy burden on low-income families," the Tehran Times said in an editorial which comes after reports of three such punishments in recent days >>> FULL TEXT

January 4

Suspect in Iran serial murder case says not guilty

TEHRAN, Jan 4 (Reuters) - A defendant in Iran's serial murder trial has denied active participation in the murders of dissidents in 1998, newspapers reported on Thursday. Iraj Amouzegar, the 11th of 18 defendants to stand trial, is the only one so far to deny involvement in the string of murders that shocked Iran, the newspaper Hayat-e No reported >>> FULL TEXT

January 3

Three more defendants confess in trial of 1998 murders

TEHRAN, Jan 3 (AFP) - Three more defendants confessed at a closed-door trial Wednesday to involvement in the shock 1998 murders of dissidents which were blamed on "rogue" intelligence agents, state radio said. Four defendants were heard Wednesday by Tehran's military tribunal, three of whom confessed to abetting the murders of Mohammad-Djafar Pouyandeh, Mohammad-Ali Mokhtari, as well as those of Daryuah Foruhar and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari, radio added >>> FULL TEXT

January 2

Four more defendants confess in murders trial

TEHRAN, Jan 2 (AFP) - Four more defendants confessed in court Tuesday to involvement in the 1998 assassinations of several dissidents and intellectuals blamed on "rogue" secret agents, state radio reported. Three admitted to personally carrying out some of the murders and a fourth said he had supervised the killing of nationalist opposition leader Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh, it said >>> FULL TEXT

Ganji to be moved to another cell block after murder of cellmate

TEHRAN, Jan 2 (AFP) - A judge has agreed to transfer prominent journalist Akbar Ganji from the cell block for common criminals to another block after his cellmate was murdered last week, a press report said Tuesday. "With the agreement of press court judge Said Mortazavi, Ganji will soon be transferred to another cell block," the Aftabe-Yazd paper said >>> FULL TEXT

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