Iran TerrorismSwiss press on with 15-year probe into killing of...

Swiss press on with 15-year probe into killing of Iranian opposition leader

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AFP: A Swiss magistrate said this weekend that he was pressing ahead with an investigation into the assassination of exiled
Iranian opposition leader Kazem Rajavi in Switzerland exactly 15 years ago on Sunday.
“It is a case that is still being dealt with as a priority matter. The investigation will be pursued to the end,” Jacques Antenen, an investigating magistrate in the western Swiss canton of Vaud,
told Swiss television TSR. AFP

GENEVA – A Swiss magistrate said this weekend that he was pressing ahead with an investigation into the assassination of exiled Iranian opposition leader Kazem Rajavi in Switzerland exactly 15 years ago on Sunday.

“It is a case that is still being dealt with as a priority matter. The investigation will be pursued to the end,” Jacques Antenen, an investigating magistrate in the western Swiss canton of Vaud, told Swiss television TSR.

Rajavi was shot dead in his car in a village near Geneva on April 24, 1990, allegedly by Iranian government agents who fled Switzerland.

Swiss authorities have never brought anyone to justice in the case. Most of the 13 suspects fled or held diplomatic passports while Iran’s Islamic regime did not respond to requests for assistance.

Two suspects were later arrested in Paris, but the French government ignored a Swiss extradition request that was backed by French courts, invoking higher “national interest” to expel them to Iran in December 1993.

In 1997, a Swiss magistrate said he “clearly” had enough evidence to justify an international arrest warrant against Iran’s then information minister, Ali Fallahian, according to documents released by Radjavi’s family.

However, he decided not to follow through because of the risk of reprisals against Switzerland, while Fallahian was wanted in Germany.

Rajavi’s son said tacit concerns about damaging ties with Iran had later hampered the investigation in Switzerland.

“I think Swiss justice has all the elements that would allow an arrest warrant against Mr Fallahian. There’s just a lack of will,” he said.

Fallahian was also implicated by German prosecutors in the killing of four Kurdish opponents of Iran’s Islamic regime in 1992.

Antenen, who took over the case recently, is due to head to Argentina, where authorities issued a warrant for Fallahian following the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that killed 84 people.

He said he wanted to continue to come up with hard evidence because of the “international ramifications”. Antenen insisted he was not under political pressure.

Neutral Switzerland has represented US interests in Tehran since Washington broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980.

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