Latifi’s Lawyer Inside Larijani’s Office Requests Clemency And Postponement Of Execution
Nemat Ahmadi, lawyer of Kurdish student Habibollah Latifi, who has been sentenced to death, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he is presently at the Head of the Judiciary’s office to deliver a letter addressed to Sadegh Larijani, requesting clemency for his client, as well as objecting to the way this case has been reviewed. Ahmadi said he is hoping to receive a reply by 5:00 p.m. today. Earlier, Latifi’s other lawyer had reported that his execution will be carried out on Sunday. Nemat Ahmadi said that the Head of the Judiciary’s office has been cooperative and he really hopes that the letters and applications will receive positive actions.
Nemat Ahmadi said that Saleh Nikbakht is now at the Sanandaj courts with Latifi’s family. He also told the Campaign that this case has several problems, such as objections to the court that has reviewed the case. “To begin with, we have an issue with these cases. In the newly-passed law pertaining to General and Revolutionary Courts (2004), charges which could lead to death sentences are within the jurisdiction of the Province Criminal Courts, which means the cases must be reviewed by five judges presiding, whereas in cases which are within the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts, only one judge presides. We believe that this death sentence should have been issued by a court presided over by five judges, not a court with one judge. This is a problem in this case. The next issue is that for a while, the appeals authority for all death sentences issued by the Revolutionary Courts was the Provincial Court, but this problem was eliminated because the Supreme Court is the appeals venue for such charges. As the law must be interpreted in favor of the suspect, yes, the court that tried him did not have jurisprudence because the ruling is the death penalty and this must be reviewed in the Province Criminal Courts. The appeals court cannot be the Province Appeals Court, either. The case will have to be appealed at the Supreme Court,” Ahmadi told the Campaign.
“We believe that this case should have never been reviewed by the Revolutionary Courts. It should have been reviewed in the Province Criminal Courts. The appeals authority for the ruling should not have been the Province Appeals Court, but the Supreme Court….I have just submitted a letter to Ayatollah Larijani’s office, covering these subjects, requesting a review. I hope to see some results by close of business hours,” he told the Campaign.
“We requested a postponement for two reasons. One is the problems I described, problems which should have been reviewed from the beginning. What he has told the Court in the presence of Ministry of Intelligence forces, is the heavy atmosphere the file’s plaintiff, which is the Intelligence Ministry, has created. If this trial was held in a more open atmosphere without the presence of security forces, there would most definitely be no charges against him. Secondly, we have requested clemency. Clemency is within the power of the Supreme Leader and Head of the Judiciary. Therefore, Mr. Larijani can also grant the clemency on behalf of the Supreme Leader. This is our request at this time and it has been recorded and I hope it would reach Ayatollah Larijani over the next half an hour. The path is at least open for clemency. We have objected to the type of review from the beginning,” said Nemat Ahmadi.
“He was arrested in 2007 for incidents that took place in Sanandaj. His charge is supporting PJAK. According to Article 186 of the Islamic Penal Code, those who support groups who take armed action against the Islamic Republic of Iran, even if they don’t actually do anything, just by supporting a group whose leadership takes military action against the regime, their sentence is death. He has said things at the Sanandaj Intelligence Office. But he denied those statements in court….In his sentence, it is stated that he is accused of providing explosives, which he denies. He says that during those days he wasn’t in Sanandaj. His last charge is filming the location of the terrorist acts and bombings,” said Ahmadi, lawyer of Habibollah Latifi.
“This sentence is due to the ‘support’ which has been stated. My client claims he was out of Sanandaj and in Piranshahr during those days. There is evidence that he was outside of Sanandaj. But the reason for the claims that he has done these things is related to the confessions he has made inside the Intelligence Office…. He says he wasn’t in Sanandaj at that date; he also says that whatever he said during the initial investigations was due to the pressure he suffered in the Intelligence Office. He does not accept the confessions. Of course this case has had other suspects, too,” added Nemat Ahmadi.