NewsOtherRome: Trial of Iran official for dissident assassination hears...

Rome: Trial of Iran official for dissident assassination hears testimonies

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Iran Terror Website: Rome, Jun. 02 – The second trial session in absentia of Amir Mansour Bozorgian, an Iranian government official, accused of masterminding the killing of the representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Italy continued on Monday, with witnesses giving testimonies to the Rome Criminal Court. Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, who defected to the NCRI when he was the Iranian charge d’affaires in Italy in 1981, was murdered on March 16, 1993 by gunmen on a motorcycle allegedly working for Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS a.k.a. VEVAK). Iran Terror Website

Rome, Jun. 02 – The second trial session in absentia of Amir Mansour Bozorgian, an Iranian government official, accused of masterminding the killing of the representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Italy continued on Monday, with witnesses giving testimonies to the Rome Criminal Court.

Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, who defected to the NCRI when he was the Iranian charge d’affaires in Italy in 1981, was murdered on March 16, 1993 by gunmen on a motorcycle allegedly working for Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS a.k.a. VEVAK).

Western intelligence services say VEVAK agents routinely work under diplomatic cover as members of Iran’s diplomatic corps.

During the court session, public prosecutor Franco Ionta gave details of the murder and similar assassinations in various European cities by VEVAK agents, adding that a witness to the circumstances surrounding the high-profile Mykonos affair, where Iranian dissidents in Germany were assassinated, had identified Bozorgian as an intelligence officer posing as a diplomat.

Carlo Taormina, a member of the Italian Parliament and a distinguished lawyer, who is representing Firminia Moroni, Mr. Naghdi’s widow, said that Naghdi’s determination to expose the Iranian regime’s human rights violations inside the country and its pursuit of terrorism abroad were the main reasons he became the target of the assassination. He said that the prosecution had documents proving that Bozorgian acted on orders from Iran’s leadership and that he was sent to Italy for the purposes of killing Naghdi.

Moroni was the first witness to take the stand and give a detailed and passionate testimony. She said that VEVAK targeted Naghdi so as to silence the Iranian people and their Resistance since he had the support of many Italian parliamentarians. On several occasions, he told the Italian security services that VEVAK agents had threatened to “silence him.” His reports were not taken seriously, however, she added.

The NCRI revealed in the mid-1990s secret information it had obtained from inside the Iranian regime regarding the role of the Iranian embassy in Italy in the assassination of Naghdi. It also revealed information about the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi, the NCRI representative in Switzerland and the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission, the murder of four Iranian dissidents in Berlin, and a string of assassinations against Iranian dissidents abroad during the same period, which showed that they were carried out on the direct orders of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and ex-President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Commenting on the trial, Dr. Ali Safavi, president of Near East Policy Research, a consulting and policy-analysis firm in Washington DC, said, “The killing was part of a policy initiated particularly under Rafsanjani when he became president and claimed other victims in Geneva, Cyprus, Turkey, Paris, Berlin, and elsewhere”.

“Ironically, Rafsanjani is now the leading candidate in the sham [June 17″> presidential elections”, Safavi said.

“To call this terror-master a ‘pragmatic conservative,’ as some Tehran apologists have said, is absurd and might open the way for the Iranian regime to renew its campaign of liquidating dissident abroad”, he added.

The next court session to hear more witnesses in the case is scheduled for July 15, 2005.

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