Iran Reformist Back at Work after Assassination Bid
Pro-reform Iranian politician Said Hajarian, who barely escaped an assassination attempt in March, went back to work Monday, press reports said.
"I'm sorry I haven't been able to do anything for the people during my convalescence," the Kayhan paper quoted him saying as he returned to Tehran City Hall in the wheelchair he will likely be confined to for the rest of his life.
Hajarian, a close ally of President Mohammed Khatami, was shot outside the municipality offices just weeks after helping reformists oust the longtime conservative majority in parliament.
He was formerly the director of the Sobh-e Emrouz daily, one of more than 25 newspapers and journals shut down by the conservative courts after reformists won their majority.
Hajarian published a number of controversial articles in the paper about the 1998 murders of several leading dissidents and intellectuals.
A revolutionary court gave the gunman a 15-year jail sentence while four other defendants in the case were given between three and 10 years for their role in the attack. Three other people were acquitted.
Defence lawyers maintained their clients did not want to kill Hajarian but only "punish" him. The supposed gunman confessed immediately in court.
Reformists, who credited him with helping mastermind the election landslide, alleged the trial -- which delivered its sentence two months after the attack --was rushed to allow those actually responsible for the shooting to go free -- TEHRAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)