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Former culture minister rejects head of clerical court's accusations
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posted February 12, 2001 09:35
BBC Monitoring Service
Feb 11, 2001
Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA
Tehran, 11 February: Former Culture Minister Ata'ollah Mohajerani dismissed here Sunday [11 February] as "utter lies" the remarks exposed by head of Iran's clerical court last Wednesday accusing the former of misusing public funds.
"The statement made by Gholamhoseyn Mohseni-Ezhe'i (head of the Special Court for Clergy) that I earmark 2bn rials from the hajj fund for purchase of certain best-sellers is completely false," Mohajerani said.
"A prominent judicial official (like Ezhe'i) is expected not to speak out of imagination... [ellipsis as received]," he added.
Mohajerani, popular pro-reform culture minister, resigned amid conservative pressure over his moves to give the Iranian press greater freedoms.
Ezhe'i said last week in the holy city of Qom that the monies allocated to the SCC for the Iranian calendar year of 1377 (March 1998-1999) was the same amount Mohajerani paid for purchase of copies of a best-seller.
He also accused several close allies of President Mohammad Khatami of working to undermine the nation's Islamic system, according to press reports.
posted February 12, 2001 09:37
Revolutionary court summons two pro-reform MPs
TEHRAN, Feb 11 (AFP) - Two members of the pro-reform majority parliament have been summoned to appear in Tehran's revolutionary court, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.
It said Elaheh Koulaii and Ahmad Bourghani-Farahani, a former deputy culture minister, had been ordered to appear before the conservative-led tribunal Tuesday.
It gave no further details or the reason behind the double summons.
Bourghani, aged 42 and former editor-in-chief of IRNA, recently criticised the country's powerful conservative camp which controls key state institutions including the judiciary and the police.
On January 24, a total 150 reformist MPs from the currently 272-strong chamber in an open letter expressed "deep concern" over the judiciary's "illegal actions", citing crackdowns on the reformist press and legal
Parliament has been pushing for the immunity of its members amid reports the judiciary is preparing cases against several reformist MPs, including President Mohammad Khatami's brother, Tehran deputy Mohammad-Reza Khatami.
On January 28, pro-reform MP Hamid Loghmanian was arrested in the western city of Hamedan which he represents in parliament, and released several hours later.
Deputies were outraged over Loghmanian's arrest, which MPs say came after his statements critical of the judiciary.
They interrupted a budget debate being carried live on state radio to denounce the "arbitrary" arrest and threatening to "take action" if he was not released immediately.
The conservative-dominated courts have been running an unprecedented offensive against the reformist movement headed by Mohammad Khatami.
Some 20 publications have been suspended and more than a dozen journalists jailed for various offences concerning their work.
All times are PT (US)
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