Gov’t Likely to Publicize Contents of N. Spy Case

A0351801.jpgIran’s Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ezhehee said that his ministry would disclose contents of a case publicly known here in Iran as the nuclear spy case if the judiciary power issued the required permission. The case pertains to a former nuclear negotiator, Hossein Moussavian, who served under former President Mohammad Khatami and was replaced when Ahmadinejad took power. Moussavian was charged with serious crimes, but was exonerated from a majority of them on Tuesday.

“From the view point of the Intelligence Ministry, contents of Moussavian’s case very clearly show that he had held classified documents and leaked information to the aliens” Ezhehee told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting here on Wednesday.

“And if the judiciary power allows us, we will release the documents and contents of Moussavian’s case,” he added.

The official said that his ministry refers all cases to the judiciary power after it pursues and uncovers plots against the country, reminding that the preliminary court of investigation and prosecutors cannot exonerate anyone.

He said that his ministry has collected a handful of documents substantiating Moussavian’s crimes, “and on the basis of the very same documents he was detained and was later released on bail.”

Ezhehee said that judiciary power has also accepted that Moussavian has violated the law, “but they have changed the title of his accusations.”

The minister said that Moussavian has jeopardized the country’s security by leaking information to the aliens, including the British embassy, adding that his ministry would soon plead the case to a relevant court of revision.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also called here on Wednesday for a public disclosure of the contents of the case.

“We demand that all the information that this person has passed and all the words he has made in his meetings with the aliens be disclosed and released,” Ahmadinejad told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting.

“Now that the information has been passed and revealed to those other than the Iranian nation, let the text of the information that this person has passed and the words that he has made in his 10 to 15 sessions with the aliens be released so that people can make a judgment by themselves,” the president added.

Also on Tuesday Iranian Government Spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham called on the judiciary to try the suspect in an open court.

Elham hoped that all misunderstandings about the case would be removed by conducting “an open trial which could also remove the worries of the public opinion.”

Iran’s judiciary power said earlier on Tuesday that investigations into former Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossein Moussavian, who was detained briefly this year on suspicion of espionage, exonerated him from a majority but not all, crimes.

“Mr. Moussavian was charged with three crimes, namely, espionage, holding secret documents, and negative propaganda against the ruling system. Mr. Moussavian was exonerated from the first two crimes, but investigations found him guilty in the third case,” Judiciary Spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters during a press conference.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had earlier warned that the judge verifying Moussavian’s case was heavily pressured by some of his political foes to exonerate the spy and dismiss the case.

Ahmadinejad said some of his political opponents inside the country had sent certain individuals abroad to leak Iran’s nuclear and political information to the enemies of the Iranian nation in their weekly meetings in a bid to break the resolve of his administration and face him with a defeat.

Elham stressed independence of Iran’s judiciary system, but meantime, implied that the verdict might have been issued under pressures.

He said the government insists that the judge should decide independently and free from any political, financial and social influence. “In other words, the judge should issue his verdict without any overt or covert pressures,” he added.

Ezhehee had also earlier this month said that his ministry held established facts substantiating leakage of the country’s secret information by the former nuclear negotiator, Hossein Moussavian.

“Moussavian has been charged with harming national security through leaking information to the aliens, including the British embassy in Tehran and he has been informed of his crimes since the very first day” Ezhehee told FNA, adding, “From the viewpoint of the intelligence ministry, these charges have been proved.”

Ezhehee also confirmed Ahmadinejad’s remarks, saying that “the judge has been contacted to exonerate the nuclear spy.”

“Influential individuals have summoned the judge and strove to exonerate the nuclear spy several times,” he added, warning the said individuals to keep away from Moussavian’s case.

“We believe he (Moussavian) is a criminal,” the intelligence minister reiterated.

Elham voiced support for Ezhehee’s remarks, saying that Iran’s minister of information “who is a judge himself and supports independence of judges has put forward some expert views in this regard which should be taken into consideration.”

Iran’s former senior negotiator in nuclear talks with the West Hossein Moussavian was freed after paying bail of 2 bln rials (215,000 dollars) in May.

Moussavian, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator that served under reformist president Mohammad Khatami to 2005, was arrested on April 30. He also served as ambassador to Germany under Rafsanjani.

Ezhehee had also said earlier this year that two other unnamed individuals had been summoned for questioning by intelligence agents in connection with the case.

FNA’s source said that one of the individuals – both of whom worked for security bodies – had been released on bail. It did not give details over the fate of the other suspect.

Prior to his detention, Moussavian was deputy head of the Strategic Research center belonging to the Expediency Council, Iran’s top political arbitration body which is headed by Rafsanjani himself.

The head of the Strategic Studies Centre is Hassan Rowhani, a moderate cleric who until 2005 was Iran’s top nuclear negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary under Khatami.

Since Moussavian has been charged with spying on Iran’s nuclear programs and activities, his case is verified at the Revolutionary Court and under Tehran’s deputy prosecutor general for security affairs.

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