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Lawyer Arrested In Iran After He Criticized Corruption By Judges

Ali Mojtahedzadeh, a lawyer, was taken away by security agents, without any explanation on June 8. FILE PHOTO

The Islamic Republic intelligence agents arrested a prominent Iranian lawyer Ali Mojtahedzadeh on Monday, June 8, in Tehran, apparently for criticizing corruption at the Judiciary.

He was immediately taken to the court based at Tehran's infamous Evin prison, Etemed Online reported adding that the agents "confiscated the lawyer's personal effects."

The reason behind Mr. Mojtahedzadeh's arrest is not yet clear.

However, in his last tweet before detention, Mojtahedzadeh had referred to a controversial court hearing on widespread corruption in the Islamic Republic Judiciary.

"All legal cases related to the corrupt judges, including [Bijan] Qassemzadeh and [Gholamreza] Mansouri, should be reviewed," the lawyer tweeted on June 7, adding, "Those [court] cases that have been handled by corrupt judges should be reviewed and their outcomes reconsidered."

On June 7, during the first hearing session over corruption charges against the former executive deputy head of the judiciary, Akbar Tabari, the prosecutor named two notorious judges, Bijan Qassemzadeh and GholamReza Mansouri, as defendants.

Judge Bijan Ghasemzadeh became the talk of the town in 2017 after he made a ruling to block the most popular messaging application, Telegram. He has also issued harsh sentences against journalists in recent years.

Gholamreza Mansouri, a judge based in the Lavasan court who is accused of accepting a bribe of 500,000 euros ($564,855) in a corruption case had also ordered the arrest of twenty journalists in 2013.

Several journalists have named him as the person responsible for their unjust arrests since his name came up during the trial.

Mid-ranking cleric Mansouri was absent from court yesterday and is at large the judicial authorities disclosed.

According to the prosecutor during the trial on Sunday, Mansouri has fled the country. He is reported to be in Germany.