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Iranian Judge In Journalist's Trial Assassinated

Akbar Ganji (file photo) Tehran, 2 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Unidentified gunmen in Tehran today killed the judge who was trying the case of dissident Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji.

Judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad said the incident took place in downtown Tehran. News reports say two gunmen, driving a motorcycle, fired at Judge Massoud Moghadassi while he was leaving the court building. The gunmen escaped.

Ganji, an outspoken critic of Iran's clerical leadership, was imprisoned in 2001 following a series of articles in which he linked officials to the murder of political dissidents.

He has been on hunger strike for more than 50 days. Former President Ali-Akbar Rashemi-Rafsanjani last week called for his release.

(Reuters/AP/ISNA, RFE/RL Tajik Service)