TEHRAN, June 25 (AFP) - Two members of a "religious fundamentalist network" accused of "armed actions" in Iran including an attack on a senior court official have been sentenced to death, the head of Tehran's revolutionary court said Sunday. The Tehran press had until now said that only the alleged head of the group had been sentenced to death.
The two main leaders of the Mahdaviyat ring were sentenced to death and some 30 accomplices were given jail terms, said cleric Ali Mobasheri, quoted by the IRNA agency.
Mobasheri did not give the names of the two sentenced to death but said that one had accepted his sentence while seeking a pardon, while the second has lodged an appeal with the supreme court.
The head of the ring was recently identified by the press as Gholamreza Ameli, who was found guilty after a closed door trial by the revolutionary court in Tehran.
The government daily Iran said the spiritual leader of the group, Hassan Milani, from a family of prominent clerics, also faced a death sentence.
The network set up in Tehran and the southern suburbs of the capital was dismantled in 1999. Its name, Mahdaviyat or followers of the Mahdi, refers to the 12th imam who Shiites believe will reappear to restore justice to the earth.
The network allegedly had links with ultra-conservative religious Shiite officials in the holy city of Qom, 125 kilometres (80 miles) south of Tehran.
Its members have been accused of killing or attacking several Sunni Musim clerics and attempting to kill the head of the Tehran judiciary, Ali Razini, in January 1999.
Razini was seriously injured in a bomb attack, in which a passer-by was killed and four others injured.
Members of the network include an explosives expert, who was a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), and a former member of the Pasdaran guardians of the revolution who was expelled from the army, according to military sources.