Ebrahim Yazdi, Secretary General of the reformist Freedom Movement group, announced yesterday that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the Revolutionary Court to process his case.
The Mizan website reports that Yazdi appeared in court yesterday to deliver his defence. Referring to his repeated arrests and the lack of any due process, Yazdi indicated that he has never officially been given a written statement of the charges against him.
Yazdi reportedly said: “Even now I have not been issued an indictment. Only my lawyer was allowed to read the indictment in the file and take notes from it.”
Yazdi told the court that his prosecution is in effect prosecution of the Freedom Movement organization, and according to the Islamic Republic constitution, political and media crimes should be processed in open and public courts in the presence of a jury.
He said the Freedom Movement was recognized as a legal entity in 1980, adding that the courts are not authorized to issue verdicts on political parties, a task that legally falls to the commission charged with supervising political parties.
He added that since “provisions of neither Sharia nor the law have been observed in the court, any verdict issued by it has no legitimacy.” Therefore, he stated, he will remain silent and refuse to defend himself and he has asked his lawyer to follow suit.
Yazdi was arrested for three days after the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
He was later arrested in December of 2009 and released after two months for medical reasons. He was transferred to the hospital for heart treatment.
He was arrested again seven months later for participating in a Friday mass prayer in Esfahan and was held in solitary confinement for three months, followed by another three months in a so-called safe house run by the Ministry of Intelligence.
The main charge against him is leading the Freedom Movement of Iran organization.
Yazdi, who is in his eighties, became Secretary General of the Freedom Movement in 1995, when veteran political figure and former leader Mehdi Bazargan passed away.