Iran Court to Rule Next Week in German Conference Trial
Iran's conservative-led judiciary will issue a verdict next week in the trial of more than a dozen reformists charged with attending an "un-Islamic" conference in Germany, press reports said Sunday.
The courts said in early December that the conference, attended by several close allies of President Mohammed Khatami, had been aimed at overthrowing Iran's clerical regime.
Abbasali Alizadeh, head of the Tehran province judiciary, was quoted in the press saying that the verdict would be delivered by January 8 in a case that dealt reformists a severe political setback.
Conservatives were outraged after state television repeatedly broadcast "un-Islamic" footage from the seminar showing a man disrobing in protest and a woman dancing with bare arms.
The conference, which was disrupted by the Iranian opposition, was held to consider the future of Iran's reform movement after reformists won control of parliament in February's parliamentary elections.
Court officials have said the gathering was a threat to national security and intended to topple the regime, serious charges which could bring long-term prison sentences for anyone convicted.
At least 17 people were charged in the case, including a translator at the German embassy in Tehran accused of plotting against the regime.
Alizadeh was quoted saying that one of the defendants -- Jamileh Kadivar, wife of former culture minister Ataollah Mohajerani -- would be acquitted.
Others on trial include dissident cleric Hassan Yussefi-Eshkevari, a close Khatami ally accused of apostasy, and journalist Akbar Ganji, who has charged that top officials in the regime were behind the 1998 assassinations of several dissidents -- TEHRAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)