Iran Arrests Distributors of Classified Information on Dissident Murders
The Iranian security service has arrested agents believed to be behind the distribution of 80 pages of classified information on the 1998 serial murders of intellectuals and political dissidents, reported the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, citing a press report on Thursday.
"After copies of an 80-page `night letter' which contained classified information on the serial murders were linked to the culprits, the latter were arrested on order of the Tehran Military Court," the daily Resaalat quoted Mohammad-Reza Zarandi, a top official of the military court, as saying.
"Also, distributors of a CD-ROM containing similar information on the serial murders are wanted," he said.
"Since the CD contains classified information, its distribution is considered a crime against state security," he added.
Late last year, Interior Minister Ali Younessi said his ministry had already arrested several people linked to the distribution of a similar "night letter" which implicated state officials in the murders, said IRNA.
Thereafter, the judiciary warned the public against making "unauthorized" comments on the case.
The CDs are said to contain confessions of people held in connection with the serial murders.
In January, a military court sentenced three defendants to death and five others to life imprisonment for the murders of nationalists Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar and writers Mohammad Mokhtari and Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh.
Seven of the 18 defendants received lesser jail terms; three were acquitted.
The victims' families boycotted the trial in protest of an order by the judiciary disallowing certain evidence which they claimed were relevant to their case.
They also opposed the death sentences that were later meted out to the accused, saying they did not seek vengeance. The murders were initially blamed on "rogue" elements of the information ministry.
One of them, Saeed Emami, is believed to have been a key actor, but committed suicide in his prison cell even before the case went to trial.
Younessi, in February, remarked that the judge's 17-page decision should be "conclusive" and the case effectively closed. However, some 100 parliamentary deputies have since signed a petition asking for greater clarification of the circumstances surrounding the murders – Albawaba.com
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