Iran Focus: London, Oct. 27 Italian prosecutors have officially charged a top Iranian official for masterminding the high-profile assassination of a prominent dissident in 1993. Iran Focus
London, Oct. 27 Italian prosecutors have officially charged a top Iranian official for masterminding the high-profile assassination of a prominent dissident in 1993.
Italys deputy prosecutor-general Franco Ionta called on Romes Criminal Court to hand down a sentence of life imprisonment for Amir Mansour Bozorgian for his leading role in the slaying of Mohammad-Hossein Naghdi, the representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Italy.
Ionta argued that Bozorgian, who is being tried in absentia, had orchestrated Naghdis murder which was carried out on the orders of senior Iranian leaders as part of a systematic campaign to wipe out opposition figures abroad.
Naghdi, 42, had angered the Iranian authorities when he defected as Irans charge daffaires in Italy to join the NCRI.
He was killed when a gunman opened fire from a motorcycle on route to his office in Rome. The gunman and the driver of the motorcycle immediately fled the scene.
At the time of the killing, Bozorgian, an under-cover officer of Irans secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), had an Iranian-issued diplomatic passport and was able to travel with relative ease.
The decision by Italian prosecutors to charge Bozorgian came on the same day Argentine prosecutors charged seven Iranian officials including former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aries.
The attack on the AMIA (Argentine Jewish Mutual Association) centre left 85 people dead and 300 others injured.
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 Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Rafsanjani.