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Iran Ministry Denies Involvement in Death of Canadian Journalist - 2003-08-26


Iran's Intelligence Ministry is denying that two of its employees were involved in the death of a Canadian journalist last month in Tehran.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry issued a statement late Monday denying any role in the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi and saying the details surrounding the death will be made to the public at the proper time.

The ministry contradicted an earlier statement by the Tehran prosecutor that two of the ministry's agents were involved in Ms. Kazemi's death. Government officials had said earlier her death was caused by a blow to the head after she was arrested in June for taking photographs outside a prison in Tehran. Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi admitted last month the journalist was probably murdered.

The prosecutor's office said Monday that two interrogators from the Intelligence Ministry had been charged with involvement in the 54-year-old woman's death.

But the Intelligence Ministry denied the prosecutor's allegations, calling them sheer lies.

Canadian officials have been demanding that those responsible for Ms. Kazemi's death face justice.