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Aide to Former Iranian President Khatami Denies Travel Ban

A lawyer for Iran's former president, Mohammad Khatami, is denying a report that the reformist politician has been barred from leaving the country.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai says the report by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency is false. He says a travel ban usually requires a judicial decision, and that no such decision has been made for Mr. Khatami.

Mr. Khatami was a key supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who led protests after the June 2009 presidential election which he claimed was rigged.

The Iranian government crushed the demonstrations in a crackdown that resulted in mass arrests.

The trial of 12 people accused of torturing detained anti-government protesters at the Kahrizak prison began on Tuesday. A parliamentary probe found that at least three prisoners were beaten to death while being held at the Tehran jail.

The probe also found that Tehran's then-prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, was responsible for sending 147 opposition protesters to the Kahrizak prison despite a lack of space. The parliamentary report said the activists were detained in a cell measuring just 70 square meters, without food or sanitary conditions.

The Iranian government had initially denied allegations that abuse had taken place at the detention center.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later ordered the closure of the Kahrizak prison.

The official news agency IRNA's report on Tuesday did not identify the suspects, saying the judge had banned reporting details of the trial.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.