“We are ready to give our forgiveness, if….”

Source: Sarmayeh Newspaper

In an interview with Sarmayeh newspaper, the family of the victim said “we are ready to give our forgiveness if Delara is convicted for 20 years or a life sentence”. The family said they believe a person who has been convicted of a proven crime, the act of killing someone should not be set free just because of their forgiveness.

The family had mentioned earlier in a letter that they believe in forgiveness and could not be witnesses of an execution – a death of another- and are ready to change the punishment of Ghesas (retribution) to a prison term.

Throughout Delara’s imprisonment many people, including artists, tried to help mediate between the two families and were pushing to obtain pardon from the deceased family. The family of the victim agreed to do so if Delara and her family show remorse for the death of their relative and in the condition that they dismiss their current attorney from handling their file.  They had mentioned in a prior interview that they did not like attorney Khoramshahi’s attitude towards them.

Abass Momenzadeh, a high level lawyer, mentioned that lawmakers can only convict the accused for no more than 10 years once the family of the victim gives their pardon. He said the decision of imprisonment is the responsibility of the lawmaker and not of the family of the deceased.  To ask for 20 years imprisonment is not a lawful request.  Only the court can decide the length of imprisonment. He continued that there is however other reasonable requests that can be a substituted. For example if the request was to pay 40 million toman (approx USD $40,000), they could instead request 100 million toman (approx USD $100,000) instead.

He continued saying that recently in another case the family of the deceased had asked for 6 kidneys to be donated to needy people instead of a dollar amount.  

When Mr. Momenzadeh was asked what would happen if there is no agreement, he said that the death penalty verdict must be executed.  If the family of the victim insists on their stance, their file will go back to the execution committee’s office and they will ask the family to make up their mind.