Forensic workers carry the body of Gholamreza Mansouri from a hotel downtown Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 19, 2020…
Forensic workers carry the body of Gholamreza Mansouri from a hotel in downtown Bucharest, Romania, June 19, 2020.

Fugitive former Iranian judge Gholamreza Mansouri was found dead in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, in suspicious circumstances.

Police initially told RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest that the man fell from the sixth-floor window of the hotel onto the sidewalk, but later in the evening authorities said Mansouri's body was found inside the hotel near the lobby.

The correspondent said the hotel is not a large building, and has a small atrium. Photos of the building show it appears to also have a backyard.

Reuters said Mansouri fell from the window but his body was inside the hotel.

Based on initial official reports, the Duke Hotel receptionist in Bucharest informed the Romanian police that the body of a resident from one of the upper floors had been found at 2:30 p.m. local time on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.

Police cars are parked outside the Duke Hotel where Gholamreza Mansouri died after falling from a high floor inside a hotel, in Bucharest, Romania, June 19, 2020.

Mansouri's name was not initially announced by the police, but later the correspondent cited the Romanian police spokesman as confirming that the deceased was Gholamreza Mansouri. He was already dead when the ambulance arrived. Police said he fell from the sixth floor.

The spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry, Abbas Mousavi in Tehran, confirmed Mansouri's death and said his country was waiting for Romania to officially convey the exact reason for the deadly incident.

Detectives from the Romanian homicide department have initiated an investigation to determine whether the death was a murder, a suicide or an accident.

Fugitive judge

The fugitive judge is accused of receiving a bribe of half a million euros (about $560,000) in the Islamic Republic of Iran. During a recent court hearing about widespread financial corruption in the country's judiciary, it was revealed that Mansouri had fled Iran.

News about his presence in Europe earlier this month prompted Iranian human rights activists and Amnesty International to demand his arrest for persecuting journalists in Iran.

Later, it was revealed that the fugitive judge was in Bucharest. Reacting to the revelation, the Islamic Republic said that Mansouri was under Interpol detention at Tehran's request. "He will soon be extradited to Iran," the Islamic Republic's judiciary claimed at the time.

Nonetheless, a Romanian court on June 12 postponed the extradition of Mansouri, demanding that Tehran present documents and evidence against the accused. He was released from custody and was under police watch.

Meanwhile, Romanian media had reported that Mansouri protested his arrest by the local police and claimed that he was a permanent resident of Turkey, where he owns a residence.

"If extradited to Iran, my life would be in danger," Mansouri told local media.

Additional accusations

Moreover, a complaint against Mansouri was also lodged in Germany by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for his role in human rights violations, including the mass arrest of journalists in 2013.

Mansouri, who was previously the investigator of Branch 9 of the Culture and Media Prosecutor's Office and the head of the prosecutor's office, was also involved in the seizure of some newspapers in Iran and the arrest of a group of journalists in 2012.

Adelina Radulescu of RFE/RL's Romanian service contributed to this report.