Date: Mar 9, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Mar 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Mar 2000
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There is one message totalling 46 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Iran changes judge in case of dissidents' murder

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Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 18:53:09 EST
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran changes judge in case of dissidents' murder

Iran changes judge in case of dissidents' murder


TEHRAN, March 8 (Reuters) - Iran has replaced the judge hearing the case of
secret agents charged with the 1998 murders of dissidents, after widespread
criticism over long delays in the probe, the Iranian news agency IRNA
reported on Wednesday.

It quoted an unnamed official of the military courts as announcing the
replacement of the judge and investigators in the case of intelligence
ministry agents accused of killing at least four dissidents and
intellectuals.

The officials did not name the judge or investigators and it was not
immediately clear if the case was being turned over to the civilian judiciary
from the military courts.

``He (the official) expressed hope that the new group in charge of the case
would complete the probe swiftly and comprehensively,'' IRNA said.

The official also rejected recent charges by relatives of the agents that
they had been tortured in jail, saying the accusations were part of
``organised and premeditated'' moves to discredit the military courts.

Reformists close to President Mohammad Khatami have strongly criticised the
delay in bringing the case to trial. Some trials in Iran are held days after
suspects are arrested.

A commission set up by Khatami blamed the murders on rogue agents of the
feared intelligence ministry, forcing the resignation of the minister of
intelligence last year, in an unprecedented display of transparency.

The slow pace of the investigation and lingering suspicions that the trail
may lead beyond the agents have thrust the case to the centre of the
political struggle between reformers and conservatives. Each side has blamed
the other for the murders.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Mar 2000
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