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Witness Statement of Ali Mahin Torabi

Preliminary Court Order

16. The court decision was issued on 30 October 2003 by Justice Lughman Kiapasha of Branch 33 of the Public Courts in Karaj designated for youth crimes (now Branch 122) and it was given to me at the correctional facility. According to the preliminary court order, I was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and Qisas. Even though the court’s decision stated that the victim’s mother had declared forgiveness and only asked for blood money, the court ordered for Qisas after 10 years of imprisonment, in order to uphold public interest. It provided, however, that should the victim’s father pay the blood money to the victim’s mother, the ruling would be performed.

17. I appealed the decision and the case was sent to the Supreme Court. On 8 June 2004, Branch 27 of the Supreme Court in Qom, presided over by Mohammad Reza Boroujerdi and his deputy Malek Azhdarsharifi, removed the 10 year imprisonment sentence but upheld the judgment of Qisas.

18. On 17 April 2005, the case was sent to Branch 13 of the Central Office for Reviewing Supreme Court Decisions, which rendered its decision on my case on 20 April 2005. The court order was confusing and contained a number of handwritten changes. It upheld the Qisas, claiming that the decision was rendered based on the judge’s “knowledge of the crime.” The knife they found on me was not bloody, but they claimed that blood does not remain on steel. Later on, the knife, as the exhibit in my file, disappeared and no one followed up on it.

Transfer to the Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj

19. After two and a half years at the correction facility in Tehran, given that I was then over 18, I was transferred to Rajaie Shahr prison in Karaj. At Rajaie Shahr, we were kept in a 5 x 3 sq. meter room. I was held in wings 2, and 4 in Rajaie Shahr. In the first few years we had nothing - no television, no fridge, no carpet - but later on even though we had these amenities through the shop, there were more emotional pressures. I worked in the prison’s television department.

20. At that point, Mrs. Fahimeh Haj Mohammad Ali and Mr. Mohammad Mostafa’i were the lawyers on my case. At the same time, there was much pressure due to international interest in my case. My case, therefore, was transferred once again from Branch 13 of the Central Office for Reviewing Supreme Court Decisions to the office of Mr. Shahroudi, then the Head of Judiciary, for review and decision. On 13 October 2005, Mr. Shahroudi’s Office reversed the Qisas sentence due to my young age at the time of the incident, and determined there was insufficient evidence on motivation to support a conviction of intentional murder. He then referred my case to the Special Investigation and Follow-up Unit of the Judiciary and wrote “The case must be resolved amicably by the Arbitration Council.”

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Tagged as:

Child Rights, Executions