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Former Tehran mayor found guilty of killing wife, sentenced to death

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Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi has been sentenced to qisas (an eye for an eye or retribution in-kind) for killing his second wife, the spokesman of the Iranian judiciary said on Tuesday, July 30.

Najafi, an MIT graduate who was also a former deputy president and minister, was found guilty of shooting dead his second wife, Mitra Ostad, at their home in a posh neighborhood in Tehran on May 28.

"The charges included premeditated murder, battery and possession of an unlicensed firearm," the judiciary spokesman was cited as saying by Mizan Online.

"The court has established premeditated murder and passed qisas,” he added. Qisas would mean execution in this case, since the crime was murder. Najafi has twenty days to appeal.

Hours after the murder, Najafi had surrendered to police officers and confessed to killing his 35-year-old wife over family issues.

A police official also said at the time that Ostad had been shot several times. Such gun violence is extremely rare in Iran.

Najafi was elected mayor of Tehran in August 2017 but resigned the following April after coming under pressure from conservatives.

Initially, Najafi had maintained that he only wanted to scare his wife, but somehow, he fired five times, and two bullets hit the victim.

Meanwhile, Najafi's fellow reformists claimed that Ostad had been hired by the IRGC to lure Najafi into marriage and keep him under her direct control, lest he reveal "shocking" information about widespread financial corruption in the municipality of Tehran.

While in charge of running Tehran municipality, Najafi had threatened to reveal a series of financial irregularities during his predecessor IRGC Brigadier-General Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf's term as mayor, which pointed to corruption.

However, the threat never materialized, and Najafi abruptly resigned.

Later, it was revealed that the mayor had secretly married Ostad, a former actress.

Pictures that circulated on social media showed Najafi with his new wife in affectionate poses – a shocking development in conservative Iran.

Ostad was the second of Najafi's two wives. Polygamy is legal in Iran but highly frowned upon – as the couple found out when news of their marriage emerged last year.

Last Modified: Wednesday، 31 July 2019 04:40 PM
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