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Iran Says Slain Journalist's Case Still Open

Washington, 18 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimi-Rad said in Tehran yesterday that the dossier of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was killed in state custody in Tehran in June 2003, remains open and would be reexamined on 25 July, Radio Farda reported.

The announcement comes a day after a court examined the case in camera for an hour, without reaching a conclusion.

Lawyers for Kazemi's family rejected the initial acquittal, for insufficient evidence, of the only defendant charged with her killing, and want a court to summon two key witnesses: Tehran chief prosecutor Said Mortazavi, who may have participated in her interrogation, and Health Minister Masud Pezeshkian, who saw her corpse, Radio Farda reported.

Separately, Canada, which is angered by Iran's handling of the case, announced on 17 May that it will restrict for now its contacts with Iran to three subjects: the Kazemi case, "Iran's human rights record, and...nuclear nonproliferation," AFP quoted Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew as saying. No "visits or exchanges by Iranian officials to Canada will be permitted, nor will Canadian officials engage with Iran, except relating to these issues," Pettigrew added.