The former mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Ali Najafi, who was sentenced to death for murdering his wife was released on bail on Wednesday, 28 August.

Mohammad Ali Najafi, an Iranian politician admitted to law enforcement that he murdered his young second wife, Mitra Ostad and went through a trial, was pardoned by the family and freed on bail.

Najafi The former mayor of Tehran was released on one billion tomans bill (approximately $90,000) after the victim’s family pardoned him.

Murder in the first and second-degree charges in the Islamic Penal Code of Iran are punishable by retributive justice and “retaliation in kind” based on the Shria law. It basically means that the victim’s family can ask for “eye for an eye” and demand the death penalty or can forgive the perpetrator and pardon him.

In a trial in Tehran, the court convicted Najafi of the intentional murder of his wife. He was sentenced to death; however, Mitra Ostad’s forgave Najafi. After the pardon of the family, the court annulled the death penalty. The judge also sentenced Najafi to two years in prison for the illegal possession of a firearm.

Najafi’s attorney, Hamid Gudarzi, confirmed the release of his client on bail. He also said that Najafi is ill.

Najafi still faces trial for premeditated murder. According to the Iranian penal code, he could be sentenced between three to ten years in jail despite being pardoned from the death penalty.

Three months ago, on 28 May, a few hours after the body of Najafi’s wife was discovered in her apartment in the west of Tehran, Najafi surrendered himself to authorities and confessed to the murder of his wife.

Mohammad Ali Najafi, 67 is a high profile, Iranian politician. He is an MIT educated mathematician and a politician who was the Mayor of Tehran from August 2017 until April 2018. Najafi resigned from his post as the mayor after a controversy over a video showing him watching a dance performance by schoolgirls at municipal festival.

Najafi had also served as Minister of Science and Education in Hassan Rouhani and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s cabinets. He had also held several advisory and managerial posts in the last three decades.

Najafi claimed in an interview with the state-run TV that he had an argument with his wife in the days prior to the murder but shooting his wife was an accident.