Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Judge who tried Akbar Ganji is shot and killed in Iran - International Herald Tribune

Judge who tried newsman is shot and killed in Iran - Africa & Middle East - International Herald Tribune: "Judge who tried newsman is shot and killed in Iran
The New York Times, The Associated Press

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2005


TEHRAN A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed on Tuesday the Iranian judge who had tried the case of a prominent journalist now on a hunger strike, a judiciary spokesman said.

Masoud Moqadasi, a judge who oversaw a case against the imprisoned journalist, Akbar Ganji, was slain in his car after leaving his office in central Tehran, said a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Jamal Karimirad.

Moqadasi headed the Tehran judiciary complex and specialized in cases of social vice, Karimirad said.

It was not immediately clear whether there was any connection between the killing and the Ganji case.

A pair of witnesses told police officers that, as the judge attempted to drive away from his office, the gunman sped up to Moqadasi's car on a motorcycle and shot him twice in the forehead, said Tehran's police chief, Morteza Talaei.

The assailant escaped. Talaei said that the motive for the killing was unclear and the police would look at Moqadasi's past cases for clues.

The judge could be seen slumped behind the wheel of the vehicle, his face and the car's interior bloodied. Detectives examined the car, corpse and surrounding street for clues.

Police officers blocked the street and cordoned off the shooting scene, Ahmad Qasir Street, also known by its previous name, Bucharest Street. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Karimirad said Moqadasi had handled the first case against Ganji, who was jailed in 2000 for reporting that intelligence officials murdered five Iranian dissidents in 1998.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry later blamed the murders on "rogue agents" in the secret service.

After overseeing Ganji's first trial in the Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court, Moqadasi sentenced the journalist to 10 years in prison and five years' exile in southern Iran for violating Iran's national security by releasing classified information.

That sentence was reduced to six months in jail in a second judgment in a different court. But when a top judiciary official objected, Iran's supreme court changed the sentence to six years. Ganji has already served more than five years in prison.

Ganji, who is on a hunger strike and drinks only tea and water, is being treated in Tehran's Milad Hospital under police guard. His wife, Masoumeh Shafiei, said last week that her husband had lost a lot of weight and was in delicate health.

In a 20-page manifesto written from jail, Ganji states in strikingly blunt terms that basic civil rights are nonexistent in Iran because they would obstruct the absolute power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme religious leader.

Ganji urges Iranians to reject a system that grants to just one man sweeping powers over the military, judiciary, key appointed bodies and the state-controlled media.

"The path that the reformers have picked for reform will not lead to democracy," says the manifesto, which electrified student activists because it suggested a strategy for moving the reform movement ahead.

TEHRAN A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed on Tuesday the Iranian judge who had tried the case of a prominent journalist now on a hunger strike, a judiciary spokesman said.

Masoud Moqadasi, a judge who oversaw a case against the imprisoned journalist, Akbar Ganji, was slain in his car after leaving his office in central Tehran, said a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Jamal Karimirad.

Moqadasi headed the Tehran judiciary complex and specialized in cases of social vice, Karimirad said.

It was not immediately clear whether there was any connection between the killing and the Ganji case.

A pair of witnesses told police officers that, as the judge attempted to drive away from his office, the gunman sped up to Moqadasi's car on a motorcycle and shot him twice in the forehead, said Tehran's police chief, Morteza Talaei.

The assailant escaped. Talaei said that the motive for the killing was unclear and the police would look at Moqadasi's past cases for clues.

The judge could be seen slumped behind the wheel of the vehicle, his face and the car's interior bloodied. Detectives examined the car, corpse and surrounding street for clues.

Police officers blocked the street and cordoned off the shooting scene, Ahmad Qasir Street, also known by its previous name, Bucharest Street. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Karimirad said Moqadasi had handled the first case against Ganji, who was jailed in 2000 for reporting that intelligence officials murdered five Iranian dissidents in 1998.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry later blamed the murders on "rogue agents" in the secret service.

After overseeing Ganji's first trial in the Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court, Moqadasi sentenced the journalist to 10 years in prison and five years' exile in southern Iran for violating Iran's national security by releasing classified information.

That sentence was reduced to six months in jail in a second judgment in a different court. But when a top judiciary official objected, Iran's supreme court changed the sentence to six years. Ganji has already served more than five years in prison.

Ganji, who is on a hunger strike and drinks only tea and water, is being treated in Tehran's Milad Hospital under police guard. His wife, Masoumeh Shafiei, said last week that her husband had lost a lot of weight and was in delicate health.

In a 20-page manifesto written from jail, Ganji states in strikingly blunt terms that basic civil rights are nonexistent in Iran because they would obstruct the absolute power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme religious leader.

Ganji urges Iranians to reject a system that grants to just one man sweeping powers over the military, judiciary, key appointed bodies and the state-controlled media.

"The path that the reformers have picked for reform will not lead to democracy," says the manifesto, which electrified student activists because it suggested a strategy for moving the reform movement ahead.

TEHRAN A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed on Tuesday the Iranian judge who had tried the case of a prominent journalist now on a hunger strike, a judiciary spokesman said.

Masoud Moqadasi, a judge who oversaw a case against the imprisoned journalist, Akbar Ganji, was slain in his car after leaving his office in central Tehran, said a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Jamal Karimirad.

Moqadasi headed the Tehran judiciary complex and specialized in cases of social vice, Karimirad said.

It was not immediately clear whether there was any connection between the killing and the Ganji case.

A pair of witnesses told police officers that, as the judge attempted to drive away from his office, the gunman sped up to Moqadasi's car on a motorcycle and shot him twice in the forehead, said Tehran's police chief, Morteza Talaei.

The assailant escaped. Talaei said that the motive for the killing was unclear and the police would look at Moqadasi's past cases for clues.

The judge could be seen slumped behind the wheel of the vehicle, his face and the car's interior bloodied. Detectives examined the car, corpse and surrounding street for clues.

Police officers blocked the street and cordoned off the shooting scene, Ahmad Qasir Street, also known by its previous name, Bucharest Street. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Karimirad said Moqadasi had handled the first case against Ganji, who was jailed in 2000 for reporting that intelligence officials murdered five Iranian dissidents in 1998.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry later blamed the murders on "rogue agents" in the secret service.

After overseeing Ganji's first trial in the Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court, Moqadasi sentenced the journalist to 10 years in prison and five years' exile in southern Iran for violating Iran's national security by releasing classified information.

That sentence was reduced to six months in jail in a second judgment in a different court. But when a top judiciary official objected, Iran's supreme court changed the sentence to six years. Ganji has already served more than five years in prison.

Ganji, who is on a hunger strike and drinks only tea and water, is being treated in Tehran's Milad Hospital under police guard. His wife, Masoumeh Shafiei, said last week that her husband had lost a lot of weight and was in delicate health.

In a 20-page manifesto written from jail, Ganji states in strikingly blunt terms that basic civil rights are nonexistent in Iran because they would obstruct the absolute power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme religious leader.

Ganji urges Iranians to reject a system that grants to just one man sweeping powers over the military, judiciary, key appointed bodies and the state-controlled media.

"The path that the reformers have picked for reform will not lead to democracy," says the manifesto, which electrified student activists because it suggested a strategy for moving the reform movement ahead.

TEHRAN A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed on Tuesday the Iranian judge who had tried the case of a prominent journalist now on a hunger strike, a judiciary spokesman said.

Masoud Moqadasi, a judge who oversaw a case against the imprisoned journalist, Akbar Ganji, was slain in his car after leaving his office in central Tehran, said a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, Jamal Karimirad.

Moqadasi headed the Tehran judiciary complex and specialized in cases of social vice, Karimirad said.

It was not immediately clear whether there was any connection between the killing and the Ganji case.

A pair of witnesses told police officers that, as the judge attempted to drive away from his office, the gunman sped up to Moqadasi's car on a motorcycle and shot him twice in the forehead, said Tehran's police chief, Morteza Talaei.

The assailant escaped. Talaei said that the motive for the killing was unclear and the police would look at Moqadasi's past cases for clues.

The judge could be seen slumped behind the wheel of the vehicle, his face and the car's interior bloodied. Detectives examined the car, corpse and surrounding street for clues.

Police officers blocked the street and cordoned off the shooting scene, Ahmad Qasir Street, also known by its previous name, Bucharest Street. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Karimirad said Moqadasi had handled the first case against Ganji, who was jailed in 2000 for reporting that intelligence officials murdered five Iranian dissidents in 1998.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry later blamed the murders on "rogue agents" in the secret service.

After overseeing Ganji's first trial in the Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court, Moqadasi sentenced the journalist to 10 years in prison and five years' exile in southern Iran for violating Iran's national security by releasing classified information.

That sentence was reduced to six months in jail in a second judgment in a different court. But when a top judiciary official objected, Iran's supreme court changed the sentence to six years. Ganji has already served more than five years in prison.

Ganji, who is on a hunger strike and drinks only tea and water, is being treated in Tehran's Milad Hospital under police guard. His wife, Masoumeh Shafiei, said last week that her husband had lost a lot of weight and was in delicate health.

In a 20-page manifesto written from jail, Ganji states in strikingly blunt terms that basic civil rights are nonexistent in Iran because they would obstruct the absolute power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme religious leader.

Ganji urges Iranians to reject a system that grants to just one man sweeping powers over the military, judiciary, key appointed bodies and the state-controlled media.

"The path that the reformers have picked for reform will not lead to democracy," says the manifesto, which electrified student activists because it suggested a strategy for moving the reform movement ahead."