Iranian judge accused of corruption found dead in Romanian hotel

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Forensic workers close the doors of a van after loading the body of Gholamreza Mansouri in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP)
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A forensic worker collects body parts and evidence from a hotel downtown Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP)
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Forensic workers arrive to collect body parts and evidence from a hotel downtown Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 19 June 2020

Iranian judge accused of corruption found dead in Romanian hotel

  • Police said a hotel had found one of its guests dead in the lobby after he appeared to have fallen from a higher floor
  • Authorities in Iran alleged Gholamreza Mansouri took about 500,000 euros ($560,000) in bribes

BUCHAREST: An Iranian cleric and judge accused of corruption in Tehran and also of human rights violations by activists was found dead on Friday at a hotel in the Romanian capital Bucharest, police said.
Gholamreza Mansouri, who fled Iran last year, is among several judges accused of graft during a high-profile trial of a former senior judiciary official that began in Tehran on June 7.
Romanian police detained Mansouri earlier this month and a Bucharest court had been expected to rule next month on whether to extradite him.
Bucharest police said a hotel had found one of its guests dead in the lobby after he appeared to have fallen from a higher floor.
"It was established that the man was a 52-year-old foreign citizen under judicial control for crimes committed in another country," the police said in a statement, adding that an investigation into his death was underway.
Mansouri had been placed under a 30-day judicial control period and was being kept under surveillance. A July 10 deadline had been set for Tehran to file extradition documents.
Last week the Paris-based media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) filed a complaint against Mansouri in Germany, where he was believed to have resided before travelling to Romania, accusing him of being responsible for the "arrest and torture" of at least 20 journalists in 2013. 


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.