Iran Focus: Tehran, Oct. 23 The trial behind closed doors of a senior Revolutionary Guards commander in the northern province of Gilan and five of his accomplices on charges of murdering a local official began in the city of Rasht, Iran Focus learned on Sunday. Iran Focus
Tehran, Oct. 23 The trial behind closed doors of a senior Revolutionary Guards commander in the northern province of Gilan and five of his accomplices on charges of murdering a local official began in the city of Rasht, Iran Focus learned on Sunday.
The decapitated body of Nasser Peiravi, head of the Natural Resources Bureau of Gilan Province, was found in the dense forests near the town of Someh-Sara on May 6.
Eye-witnesses reported seeing Peiravis car stopped by several men in Revolutionary Guards uniform, who had set up a temporary checkpoint on the Rasht-Massal highway. Investigations showed that the men were led by Revolutionary Guards Colonel Afrasiabi Nassiri, 46, who murdered Peiravi with the help of five other officers and members of the Revolutionary Guards and the para-military Bassij. They were identified as Parviz Kazemi, Hassan Rahnama, Alireza Kheirju, Akbar Shahir and Mohammad-Ali Bina.
A friend of Peiravi, who requested anonymity, told Iran Focus in a telephone interview that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps initially tried to free the six men without any trial, but as the murder had caused a public uproar in the province and there were rumours of senior officials of the regime being involved, it was decided that the trial should go ahead. Even so, the justice department in Gilan Province has been under pressure to keep the affair as low key as possible.
According to the source, senior officers of the IRGC in Gilan Province have been involved in a huge illegal timber trade, cutting down trees in the protected forests of Irans Caspian region and selling them to lumber traders. Peiravi, who as head of the provinces Natural Resources Bureau oversaw the protection of forests, had discovered the illegal operation and made strenuous attempts to stop it by reporting it to senior officials. The Revolutionary Guards officers involved in the racket decided to murder Peiravi, and the job was given to Col. Nassiri to carry out.
The court has made no announcement as to the specific charges facing the six defendants. It is not known how high up the IRGC hierarchy this latest corruption trail goes.