BBC Monitoring Service
Feb 7, 2001
Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA
Tehran, 7 February: Embattled deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh who was due to appear in an administrative court on charge of ballot-rigging Wednesday [7 February] walked out of the court.
Tajzadeh left the court to protest why all reporters cannot attend the court hearing. Only two reporters, one from IRNA and another from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), are allowed to attend the court.
The court decided to handle a co-defendant, Tehran's Governor Ayatollah Azarmi.
Tajzadeh had voiced concern in court over a "premeditated" sentence. He said a hardline newspaper had reported he would get a sentence of between five and eight years suspension from public duty.
The GC [Guardian Council] has charged the minister with a number of fraud cases during the legislative elections in February 2000, in which reformists won a solid majority in parliament.
The council did not certify all of the election results until three months after the polls, ordering several recounts in Tehran alone.
He reappeared Sunday before a Tehran administrative court and slammed the Guardian Council, saying its nullification of 720,000 votes was illegal and unjustified.
Tajzadeh, a top confidante of President Mohammad Khatami, was tried along with Tehran Governor Ayatollah Azarmi on similar charges.
A separate court has charged Tajzadeh with slander and inciting public discontent in connection with student unrest last year in western Iran. He has denied that charge as well.