Saeed Mortazavi

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice has announced that the appointment of former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to the helm of the Social Security Fund was illegal.

Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Jaffar Montazeri, the head of the court, told Mehr News on Monday: “On Monday morning, the order of Saeed Mortazavi’s appointment was cancelled by the verdict of Court of Administrative Justice, and this means that Mr. Mortazavi’s appointment as the head of the Social Security Fund is against the law.”

Iran’s Court of Administrative Justice processes complaints regarding government institutions.

Saeed Mortazavi’s appointment to the helm of the Social Security Fund was challenged by several Iranian MPs, who said that while the former prosecutor is under investigation for his role in the torture and murder of detainees in Kahrizak Prison in 2009, it is not appropriate to have him fill such a sensitive government post.

However, the Ahmadinejad administration has been adamant in its support for Saeed Mortazavi. When his involvement in the Kahrizak scandal led to his removal from the judiciary in 2009, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed him to lead the task force on smuggling.

Last year, Mortazavi was appointed by the Minister of Labour to head the Social Security Fund, which drew fierce fire from Parliament, with some MPs threatening to impeach the minister.

Finally, the MPs decided to refer the case to the Court of Administrative Justice, which has ruled against the appointment.

In 2009, a group of detainees, who were arrested in the protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial presidential victory, were sent to Kahrizak Prison by order of Saeed Mortazavi. Later, news of the torture and death of detainees at Kahrizak hit the media, after which the detention centre was closed by order of Iran’s Supreme Leader.

A parliamentary probe has pointed a finger at Saeed Mortazavi and two other judges for facilitating the crimes committed at Kahrizak.