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High-Profile Murder Trial Of Ex-Tehran Mayor Begins

Mohammad Ali Najafi (center) in handcuffs in a Tehran court

The high-profile trial of former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi on charges that he killed his second wife has started, Iranian media reported.

Najafi appeared in a Tehran criminal court on July 13, accused of shooting his second wife, Mitra Ostad, at their home in the Iranian capital.

The charge sheet read out in court included murder, assault, battery, and illegal possession of a weapon.

The prosecutor also read out a statement from the former mayor, who claimed his wife once threatened him with a knife during one of their arguments.

Najafi's trial was adjourned until July 17.

On May 28, Ostad was found dead at home in the Saadat Abad neighborhood in northwestern Tehran.

On the same day, Tehran prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari said that Najafi had surrendered to police officers and confessed to killing his wife over family issues, according to the hard-line Tasnim news agency.

It cited a police official as saying she had been shot several times.

Such gun violence is extremely rare in Iran.

Polygamy is legal under Islamic laws enforced in the country.

Najafi resigned last year after coming under criticism by hard-liners for attending a ceremony at which young girls were dancing. He cited health reasons for his resignation.

Based on reporting by AFP, Khabar Online, and BBC Persian