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Hard-Line Iranian Judge Gunned Down In Tehran

2 August 2005 -- Iranian Deputy Prosecutor-General Massoud Moghadassi was shot dead today.

Judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad said at least one gunman, driving a motorcycle, fired at Moghadassi while the judge was leaving work near the center of Tehran. No arrests have been made.

Moghadassi had become famous in recent years for handling a series of high-profile political cases. In 2001, the hard-line conservative judge sent journalist Akbar Ganji to prison for writing articles that linked Iranian government officials to the murder of political dissidents. Ganji is on a 50-plus-day hunger strike.

Moghadassi was also the magistrate who sentenced future Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi to several days in jail in 2000. Tehran Police Chief General Morteza Talaie said there was no indication as to the motive of the killing, but he did not rule out that the crime could have a political undertone.


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