Iran to try brother-in-law of opposition leader

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 9:37 AM

The brother-in-law of Iran's top opposition leader will be put on trial before the Revolutionary Court, months after his arrest in the country's postelection crackdown, Tehran's top prosecutor said Friday.

The opposition has denounced the arrest of Shapour Kazemi as an attempt to pressure opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Kazemi, the brother of Mousavi's wife, was arrested in June as security forces crushed pro-reform protests that erupted following the disputed presidential election. Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, says the 62-year-old Kazemi, a communications engineer, is apolitical.

Tehran's public prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, was quoted by the state news agency IRNA saying Kazemy would go on trial before the Revolutionary Court, but he did not specify the charges. More than 100 reform politicans, activists and journalists have been on trial before the Revolutionary Court since July, accused of seeking to topple the government.

The opposition says Mousavi is the rightful winner of the June 12 presidential election and that hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory was fraudulent. Hundreds were arrested in the crackdown, and Iran's clerical rulers have depicted the postelection wave of protests as a foreign-backed plot to oust them from power.

Still, despite calls from hard-liners, Iran's leadership has stopped short of arresting Mousavi, wary of the backlash it would likely bring.