Minister: Murder Defendants in Iran Dissidents Trial All Secret Agents
All of the 18 defendants on trial for the 1998 murders of several Iranian dissidents and intellectuals are intelligence agents, reported Iran News Agency (IRNA), quoting Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi as saying Tuesday.
"All of them belong to the intelligence service and their faces will not be made public," he said.
Yunesi stressed that the court hearing sessions should be held behind closed doors, according to IRNA, adding that the trial sessions must not be held openly to prevent their (defendants) recognition for security reasons.
Only two of the suspects pleaded not guilty before the Tehran military court, while the others all confessed to some role in the murders of nationalist leader Dariush Foruhar and his wife as well as outspoken writers Mohammed Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammed-Ali Mokhtari, said AFP.
The court was back in session Tuesday and expected to issue a statement on the hearing later in the day, said AFP.
According to the agency, the families of the victims have been boycotting the trial in protest at the secrecy surrounding the controversial case.
The intelligence agent named as the mastermind behind the killings, Said Emami, was reported to have committed suicide in prison by drinking a bottle of hair remover, reported AFP -- (Several Sources)