The head of the Tehran Justice Department, Alireza Avayi, said the final verdict in the Kahrizak Detention Centre case will soon be announced, two years after political prisoners were fatally tortured there.
In an interview with Ghanoon Website, Avayi commented on the lengthiness of the case, saying: “If a case is wrapped up quickly, the plaintiff will be more satisfied and the public will gain more trust in the judicial system. However, lengthiness is unavoidable in some cases because of their very nature.”
He denied that Saeed Mortazavi, the former Tehran prosecutor who is one of the main suspects in the case, has been acquitted of the charges brought against him.
Mortazavi previously had said that he and the two other judiciary officials accused in the case have been acquitted.
Abdolhossein Ruholamini, the father of one the prisoners killed under torture at the Kahrizak facility, has publicly condemned the lack of action against Mortazavi. Government critics have pointed to Mortazavi as the main perpetrator of the Kahrizak scandal.
In the summer of 2009, many peaceful protesters were arrested during the demonstrations triggered by allegations of vote fraud in the presidential election. A group of these detainees was transferred to the Kahrizak Detention Centre, allegedly by direct order of Mortazavi. The detainees were held under very harsh and abusive conditions and at least three of them died from the torture they were subjected to while in custody.
Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the centre closed on the grounds that it was a “substandard” facility.
Later, the families of the Kahrizak victims filed charges against the officials responsible for the abuse and torture of prisoners.
Some of the guards running Kahrizak were prosecuted and sentenced by the court; however, the victims’ families pardoned those who were sentenced to death. The families insisted they want the “true perpetrators of the crimes” to be punished, namely those who ordered the prisoners to be taken to Kahrizak upon arrest. They claim that Mortazavi even delayed carrying out the Supreme Leader’s order to close down the centre.
Mortazavi was removed as Tehran prosecutor after the Kahrizak affair hit the media. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then appointed him to lead a task force against smuggling.