Hossin Haghi case sent for retrial

Source: Etemaad Newspaper- Iran
Translated by Iran Human Rights Voice: http://www.ihrv.org/inf/?p=953

At 7:00 pm on 21 Mordad 1382 (August 12, 2003), a police patrol in Navab section was notified that a youth identified as Hossein Haghi had injured a victim during a fight and had run away from the scene. Police immediately surrounded the area and apprehended Hosein and his friend, who had also participated in the fight. During the investigation it became known that Hosein, during a fight, had thrown a galvanized piece of metal against the victim, striking him in the chest. Hours later the victim died in the

 hospital. Hosein was interrogated again and he told police that he and his friend, identified as Amrullah, trespassed in a building while under construction to use the bathroom. After he came out of the bathroom, he found his friend and the victim fighting. He intervened and tried to separate the fighting parties, at which point the victim lunged at him. Hosein said he was not looking for a fight, but the victim did not listen – Hosein tried to get away from the area along with his friend, but they were attacked by building security and another round of fighting began. “There were too many of them,” he stated, so “I took a piece of galvanized metal that had been made into the shape of a knife from my pocket and placed it in front of my chest – suddenly, the young man came toward me, I do not know how my knife struck him in the chest. All I remember is that the victim was holding his chest and others were yelling ‘get the murderer’.”

Considering the statement by Hossein, the case was sent to Tehran province criminal court. Hosein, who was on trial in Tehran province branch 74, recanted his statements and said that he was not the attacker and others has also participated in the confrontation, and it is possible they could have committed the murder. Regardless, the majority of the presiding judges issued the death sentence (Ghesas). The sentencing was confirmed by the Supreme Court, but in a later stage the order was recinded. The judges associated with the office of Ayatullah Hashemi-Shahroodi, after reviewing the case, stated that the convict had stabbed the victim without prior intention and additionally he did not have a knife. Also, the eyewitnesses in their statement have not directly identified Hosein as the attacker. As a result, we cannot sentence the convict to death with his mere confession. Accordingly, the head of the judicial office struck down the ruling and sent the case back to the Supreme Court. Regardless, the Supreme Court did not consider the judicial office’s argument and confirmed the death sentencing. After that, the death sentencing of Hosein was reissued by Supreme Court judges. Until, for the third time, the office of Ayatullah Shahroodi did not consider the death sentencing justifiable and ordered the case to be sent to branch 71 of the criminal court in Tehran, to give Hosein yet another chance to defend himself and remove the shadow of death.