Iranian president ally appears in court

Saeed Mortazavi is accused of being involved in deaths of anti-government protesters in 2009.

    Iran's state TV says prosecutors have accused a close ally of the Iranian president of involvement in the deaths of detainees during unrest after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election nearly four years ago.

    The allegations against Saeed Mortazavi, a former Tehran prosecutor, are the latest potential political troubles for Ahmadinejad.

    Many of the president's allies have been detained or weakened during power struggles with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Political analysts have said this is the first time in recent history that someone so powerful has faced such serious criminal charges in Iran.

    Tuesday's report says the charges, issued during Mortazavi's first court hearing, include illegal detention and false reporting to higher authorities.

    A parliamentary probe two years ago found Mortazavi had a role in the fatal torture of at least three anti-government protesters jailed during mass demonstrations in the wake of the 2009 presidential election.

    Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie reports from Tehran.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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