Tehran Prosecutor on 'Deviants Affair,' Attack on Karroubi Home, Other Cases
by CORRESPONDENT in Tehran
19 Jun 2011 14:51
Dolatabadi says government acted properly in Saber and Sahabi deaths.[ dispatch ] In a press conference on Tuesday, Tehran Prosecutor-General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi made major announcements regarding the government financial corruption case being referred to as the "Deviants Affair," as well as the attack on Mehdi Karroubi's house and the questions surrounding the deaths of Reza Hoda Saber and Haleh Sahabi.
In response to a question regarding the Deviants Affair, involving members and associates of the Ahmadinejad administration, the prosecutor-general said, "Twelve appointees of the government have been arrested and delivered to the judiciary. Not all of them were working inside the executive branch, but had dealings with government personnel in varying fashions."
He added, "In these cases, multiple corruption charges, financial and economic, have been entered. In addition, other charges have been enumerated that we can't reveal for security reasons. Their cases have been sent to the Tehran prosecutor's office and are being pursued."
With respect to the attack on the home of former Majles speaker and presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, Dolatabadi said, "The attacker, who physically entered Karroubi's home, has been given a prison sentence of seven months. If he doesn't file an appeal, he will have to serve that sentence."
Regarding the circumstances of the death of nationalist-religious activist Reza Hoda Saber, who passed away last Friday in a Tehran hospital, the prosecutor-general said, "Prison officials transported this person, who was claiming to be in critical ill health, to a hospital upon his demand. This case, like that of Haleh Sahabi, shouldn't be used to disparage the government -- his hospitalization order was issued immediately but due to serious heart problems he passed away.
"Upon this person's death, and in order to prevent any uncertainties, the prosecutor's office issued an autopsy order and the transfer of his corpse to the coroner. He was buried [Monday] after the autopsy was completed."
As for the Haleh Sahabi case, the prosecutor-general said, "After the death of this person during her father's funeral ceremonies, the proper order for an autopsy was issued to preclude any uncertainty, but her family was vehemently against an autopsy and didn't allow the prosecutor's office to carry one out. Also, the government and the prosecutor's office in no way interfered in her funeral and burial ceremonies and they were carried out according to her family's wishes."
Reporting on the review of another case involving government officials, Dolatabadi said, "This case involves managers of the Oil Ministry but I can't discuss the details at this time." He did confirm that several ministry managers have been arrested, adding, "Two weeks ago, six active and retired employees of the ministry were held under arrest for 48 hours. Then, upon review of their cases, the prosecutor's office released them on bail.... There seem to be international aspects to this case, but the accusations against these persons should not be discussed too quickly in the media as the [charges] can't be announced. Yet we can say that this is an important financial case."
In response to a question about the opinion expressed by First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi that there had been a conspiracy involving the improper discharge of hospital patients, some allegedly in the desert, the prosecutor-general declared, "Very early on we requested that the Health Ministry provide any evidence it has that there was a conspiracy to release patients. As of [Monday], when we put the case to the court, no documents had appeared suggesting that these cases were part of a conspiracy."
Last Sunday, at a conference of medical sciences and health care school chancellors, Rahimi said, "Discharging patients was a conspiracy. We have to expose the roots of this problem, as in Iranian and Islamic cultures such acts are serious violations, crimes, [tantamount to] homicide, and must be investigated and pulled out by their roots. We must identify the perpetrators and expose them to the public."
He continued, "No one could even dream of such unethical acts taking place, especially discharging people in the desert because of nonpayment of their health care bills. That is absolutely unbecoming of us Iranians. We follow the ethical and Islamic principles of the Great Prophet -- may Allah's peace be upon him -- the Commander of Believers -- Ali, the First Imam -- and the great figures of our faith, and such actions do not conform with our Iranian character."
In his press conference, Dolatabadi said, "We ask authorities to provide the prosecutor's office any evidence they may have instead of [publicly] discussing the issue." Asked whether Rahimi's charges could be considered "dissemination of falsehoods," Dolatabadi announced, "Yes, if this claim can't be substantiated."
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