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07 Aug 2009 00:56No Comments

'Velvet Coup' trials postponed

[Fars News Agency] Upon the request of lawyers for ten defendants charged in connection with the post-election unrest, the Revolution Court postponed their trials for two days.

The announcement came as a communique issued by Salavati, head of the Revolution Court branch 15, which has been tasked with trying the post-election prisoners.

"The court session of 10 of the defendants, whose cases were scheduled for hearing on August 6, 2009, will be postponed until August 8 upon the request of their lawyers who have appealed for more time to prepare their defense," the communique said.

"A two-day extension has therefore been granted to comply with this request and in order to ensure the right of the defendants."

Lawsuits filed against two clerics

[Tabnak] Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Salimi, the special prosecutor of the Clerical Court, said complaints against only two clergymen have been filed in that court.

"Only two lawsuits in connection with the recent unrest have been filed at the Clerical Court in Tehran and Isfahan and these cases will be reviewed with the utmost care and concern," he said.

Regarding Mohammad-Ali Abtahi's case, Salimi said, "Because Abtahi's case is closely connected with the cases of the other defendants, upon the request of judiciary and security officials, it was decided that his trial be left to the Revolutionary Court."

The Clerical Court was established in 1979, upon the order of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, to hear cases against clergymen and to mete out punishments to the offenders of the clerical rank. The Clerical Court is independent from the Judiciary and the High Court and is directly under the supervision of the Supreme Leader."

According to Salimi, the Clerical Court only has branches in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Tabriz, Hamadan, Mashhad, Kerman and Gilan.

"Due to the low crime rate among this group, the Clerical Court has only two full-time judges and two part-time ones," Salimi explained.

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