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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Fugitive Iranian judge found dead in Romania after falling from hotel window

Forensic investigators work at the Bucharest hotel where Iranian judge Gholamreza Mansour died [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 June, 2020

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Iranian opposition activists have called the death of former judge Gholamreza Mansouri, who is wanted by Tehran for alleged corruption, 'certainly suspicious', after falling from a hotel window in Bucharest.
A fugitive Iranian judge sought by Tehran for alleged corruption was found dead after apparently falling from a hotel room in Bucharest, Romanian police said on Friday.

The police said an investigation was under way after a foreign national aged 52, who they identified as Gholamreza Mansouri, was found in the early afternoon.

The circumstances of his death are not yet clear, but the investigators' first lead is suicide, according to police sources.

Mansouri had been arrested last week in the Romanian capital but afterwards placed under judicial control, meaning he was banned from leaving the country and should regularly report to police. Mansouri was due to appear before a Romanian court on 10 July regarding the Iranian extradition request.

Mansouri was wanted in his homeland over alleged corruption within the country's judicial system amid reports he accepted 500,000 euros ($530,000) in bribes.

Reporters Without Borders meanwhile argued that Mansouri should not be extradited and should be instead prosecuted in Europe for torture and crimes against humanity following the 2013 detention of 20 journalists in Iran.

The pressure group filed a complaint with the public prosecutor general's office in Karlsruhe, Germany, on 12 June.

The group had said at the time it believed Mansouri was "probably currently in Germany for medical treatment" and demanded his "immediate arrest."

Exiled opposition group People’s Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reacted by saying that Mansouri's death "is certainly suspicious".

"The regime was extremely concerned that in the event of a trial, Mansouri would reveal matters adversely affecting the mullahs", spokesman Shahin Gobadi told AFP.

The Iranian government has been suspected of assassinating its opponents in exile in the the past.

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