Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Daily Times - Iran says it's ready to find journalist's killer

Daily Times - Site Edition: "Iran says it’s ready to find journalist’s killer

TEHRAN: Iran’s reformist government on Monday volunteered to help the hardline judiciary find out who killed a Canadian journalist who died in custody last year after being struck on the head.

The judiciary on Saturday acquitted an Intelligence Ministry agent accused of killing Kazemi and moved to close the case, prompting protests from Ottawa, human rights groups and lawyers representing Kazemi’s family who want the case re-opened. They accuse the powerful and conservative judiciary of covering up key evidence pointing to the involvement of judiciary officials in Kazemi’s death.

President Mohammad Khatami’s government has long been at odds with the judiciary over its handling of investigations into the death of Iranian-born Zahra Kazemi, 54, who was arrested for taking photographs of Tehran’s Evin prison.

Judiciary and government on bad terms: Asked whether the reformist-run Intelligence Ministry had already identified who was responsible for Kazemi’s death, Ramazanzadeh said the ministry believed it “is able to identify (them) and is ready to do it.” Khatami’s government, which from the start proclaimed the innocence of the intelligence agent charged with killing Kazemi, constantly clashes with the judiciary which has jailed dozens of government supporters and closed scores of pro-government newspapers in the last four years. agencies"

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