Iran sentences man to death over killing prominent filmmaker

An Iranian court has sentenced a man to death over the killing of renowned filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui and his wife months ago at their home near Tehran, the judiciary said Monday.

Mehrjui, an 83-year-old director associated with the Iranian new wave of cinema, was stabbed to death along with his wife Vahideh Mohammadifar in October at their home in Karaj, west of the Iranian capital.

The convicted killer, who was arrested days after the attack, was a former employee of Mehrjui who “had a grudge against the deceased due to financial issues,” the chief justice of Alborz province, Hossein Fazeli-Harikandi, said previously.

Three others were charged in the case over their roles in planning and assisting the murder, he added.

On Monday, the Judiciary’s Mizan Online website said the court sentenced the killer to death in accordance with the Islamic law of retribution, known as the “qisas” law.

He was found guilty of the “premeditated murder of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar”, Mizan quoted Fazeli-Harikandi as saying.

He added that the application of the retribution law came at the request of Mehrjui’s family.

The other defendants received sentences ranging from eight to 36 years in prison, according to Fazeli-Harikandi.

The verdicts, however, are not final and can be appealed before the Supreme Court, Mizan added.

Following Mehrjui’s death, tributes poured in to celebrate the works of the pioneer director, producer and screenwriter, who during his six-decade career was confronted by censorship both before and after the Islamic revolution of 1979.


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