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Judiciary: No Trial Date For Ex-Tehran Mayor Over Wife's Murder

Mohammad Ali Najafi, ex minister, in court-- 29 May 2019
Tehran, June 22, 2019 (AFP)

Iran's judiciary said Saturday it had set no date for the high-profile trial of a former Tehran mayor on charges of murdering his wife, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

The government-run newspaper Iran had reported last week that Mohammad Ali Najafi would stand trial at the Tehran Criminal Court on July 1.

Najafi, 67, turned himself in and confessed to shooting his second wife Mitra Ostad on May 28 at their home in north Tehran, Iranian media reported.

"No date has yet been set for a hearing on the Najafi case," ISNA quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying.

A veteran politician, Najafi has previously served as President Hassan Rouhani's economic adviser and education minister.

He was elected mayor of Tehran in August 2017, but resigned the following April after facing criticism from conservatives for attending a dance performance by schoolgirls.

There has been detailed coverage by state media of the case, a rarity in a country where scandals involving politicians are rarely highlighted on television.

Najafi married Ostad without divorcing his first wife, unusual in Iran where polygamy is legal but socially frowned upon.

If convicted, Najafi could face the death penalty.