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Romanian Prosecutor Says Iran Fugitive Judge Died Possibly By Falling From Height

Forensic workers carry the body of Gholamreza Mansouri from a hotel downtown Bucharest, June 19, 2020

Romanian prosecutors on Tuesday announced that an autopsy was carried out on the body of the fugitive Iranian judge, Gholamreza Mansouri, which indicated that he possibly fell to his death from a height at the Duke hotel in Bucharest where he was staying.

According to the report, Mansouri died as a result of traumatic injuries – meaning CPR could not be performed – that resulted from hitting a hard surface after falling.

The report also says several hotel employees heard the sound of something hitting the ground. The judge in charge of the case has permitted the examination of video surveillance tapes from the hotel to shed light on the incident and have questioned hotel staff. Homicide police are also involved in the investigation to establish the circumstances of the death which occurred at 14:30 local time on June 19, it said.

Judge Mansouri's body was found in an inner lobby on the ground floor of the hotel on Friday.

Sources close to the investigation have told RFE/RL that some documents in Persian, several mobile phones and bank cards were discovered by the police in Mansouri's suitcase, which appeared tidy and prepared for moving. They have also said that toxicology tests are being done on the deceased's blood.

The police have not ruled out homicide as the cause of the of the death but the possibility of suicide still remains. Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri, however, says Mansouri's death is suspicious and questionable.

On Tuesday social media users shared photos of Montazeri and a photo of the body of the fugitive judge wrapped in a white sheet being carried out of the hotel by forensic workers and pointed out that what they were carrying appears to be considerably smaller than what the body of Mansouri, a rather large man, would have been.

Montazeri's lawyer in Iran, Amir-Hossein Najafpour-Sani, explained to the Iranian Labor News Agency on Tuesday that the photos shared on social media were old and the judge had lost weight as a result of illness.

Mansouri's name recently came up in a massive corruption case involving the judiciary itself as one of the accused who had demanded and accepted large sums of money from the main defendants in the case.