Senior Iranian judge who traveled to Germany for treatment faces arrest

Iranian exiles are trying to get one of the country’s most prominent judges arrested after he traveled to Germany to receive medical treatment. (Screenshot)
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Updated 12 June 2020

Senior Iranian judge who traveled to Germany for treatment faces arrest

  • Mansouri was rumored to have fled Iran after being accused of corruption and taking $565,121 in bribes
  • A UK-based Iranian exile lawyer says he is in contact with German prosecution authorities with a view to arresting Mansouri for human rights abuses

LONDON: Iranian exiles are trying to get one of the country’s most prominent judges arrested after he traveled to Germany to receive medical treatment.
Gholamreza Mansouri was a prosecutor based at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison where many political prisoners are held. He went on to become a judge overseeing the press court.
Mansouri was rumored to have fled Iran after being accused of corruption and taking €500,000 ($565,121) in bribes, The Times reported. He is receiving medical treatment at a clinic run by a neurosurgeon of Iranian origin named Majid Samii.
The judge has issued a statement saying he intends to return to Iran, which has caused protests outside the clinic, The Times said.
A UK-based Iranian exile lawyer says he is in contact with German prosecution authorities with a view to arresting Mansouri for human rights abuses, the British newspaper added.
Kaveh Moussavi told The Times that Mansouri had overseen the torture of suspects and had jailed dozens of journalists during his tenure as a judge. 
“We have managed to secure two witnesses whose credibility I have thoroughly checked,” Moussavi said.
The lawyer has previously brought charges against other regime officials in Europe.
Moussavi said he would initiate proceedings in Germany, as well as Sweden and Norway, where the two witnesses live. All three countries have laws that allow extraterritorial jurisdiction for cases involving crimes against humanity.
Mansouri led a crackdown on newspapers and jailed 20 journalists on one day in 2013, according to the US-backed opposition station Radio Farda. He became influential after the 2009 Iranian Green Movement against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.


Manchester bomber came to security service’s attention 18 times

Updated 2 min 20 sec ago

Manchester bomber came to security service’s attention 18 times

LONDON: The man responsible for the bombing of Manchester Arena in 2017, Salman Abedi, came to the attention of the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security service, MI5, at least 18 times, including for his links to Daesh fundraisers, UK daily The Times reported on Thursday.
The public inquiry into the bombing heard that Abedi, 22, had been flagged after associating with six MI5 subjects of interest (SOI), including a man previously linked to terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, who was under investigation for helping fundamentalists travel to Syria.
Abedi had also traveled to Istanbul, a city through which terrorists often travel on their way to Daesh territory, a year before he killed 22 people as they left the Manchester Arena.
The security service had also been informed twice of Abedi’s intentions to travel to Syria and his pro-Daesh extremist views. The information was disregarded after he did not travel to the country.
MI5 was also aware of the fact that one of Abedi’s contacts had links to a senior Daesh figure, The Times reported.
Lawyers representing the Home Office said that the decisions made in Abedi’s case were mostly “reasonable and understandable” after the families of victims asked why the police and MI5 had failed to take action that might have prevented the attack.
Home Office lawyer Cathryn McGahey said that the bomber came to MI5’s attention in 2010 and was made an SOI in 2014 because of his links to a Daesh recruiter. The case was closed that same year because there was “no intelligence indicating that he posed a threat to national security,” The Times reported.
The security service admitted that information had come to its attention in mid-2016 that led it to consider reopening the case, but a meeting to consider the step was scheduled on a date after the attack had taken place.
The bomber had also appeared on MI5’s radar on other occasions for his links to suspects affiliated with Daesh in Libya and his multiple trips to that country. However, the security services decided that this was not suspicious behavior, as Abedi had family there. 
Abedi also visited convicted terrorist Abdalraouf Abdallah in British prisons twice, once in February 2015 and again in January 2017.
The inquiry also heard that intelligence was received by MI5 twice in the lead-up to the attack, but that it was dismissed as relating to “possibly innocent activity” or to “non-terrorist criminality.” While the intelligence was relevant to the Manchester attack, its significance was not fully appreciated.
McGahey said there were “enormous challenges in assessing intelligence, trying to work out what the risk is, who poses the greatest risk and seeking to predict what individuals are intending to do next,” and said that even if MI5 had taken different decisions in the months before the attack it still may not have stopped Abedi from carrying out the bombing.