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Iran's Karrubi 'Ready For Trial,' As Long As It's Open


Iranian opposition leader and cleric Mehdi Karroubi (in a December photo provided by Kambez Tavana)

Iranian opposition leader and cleric Mehdi Karroubi (in a December photo provided by Kambez Tavana)

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi says he is prepared to stand trial over the deadly unrest that followed the disputed June 2009 presidential election on condition that the proceedings be open.

The comment came in an open letter posted on Karrubi's website, Sahamnews.org, and another opposition site, Kaleme.com.

On December 31, Tehran's chief prosecutor, Abbas Jaffari Dolatabadi, said it was only a matter of time before opposition leaders would be put on trial over the street protests that erupted after Mahmud Ahmadinejad was officially returned to power.

In his letter, Karrubi is quoted as saying he would welcome such a trial, as long as it is open to the public "so that the people, who own the country, can listen to both sides and then make their own judgment."

Dozens of people died and many hundreds disappeared or were rounded up when government forces suppressed postelection protests.

Karrubi and another leading opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Musavi, have faced persistent official and vigilante-style harassment since casting doubt on the election's credibility.

The authorities have also held mass televised trials in which defendants -- many of them prominent former officials or influential opposition voices -- appeared in prison garb.

compiled from agency reports
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