Daughter of Iran ex-president Rafsanjani on trial

Behrouz Mehri
AFP25 December 2011
The daughter of Iranian former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Faezeh Hashemi, pictured in 1999
The daughter of Iranian former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is standing trial on charges of making anti-regime propaganda. Hashemi was arrested and released after taking part in a number of protests which erupted after a 2009 election which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to office despite opposition claims the vote was rigged

The daughter of Iranian former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is standing trial on charges of making anti-regime propaganda, her laywer was quoted as saying on Sunday after a closed hearing.

"After the court told her about her accusation of propaganda against the regime, she and I gave our defence," Gholam Ali Riahi, who represented Faezeh Hashemi at the hearing Saturday, said according to the newspaper Arman.

"In three days' time, we will present the court with a supplementary defence text and then the court will decide," the lawyer said.

Hashemi was arrested and released after taking part in a number of protests which erupted after a 2009 election which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to office despite opposition claims the vote was rigged.

Her father, an influential cleric who currently heads the country's top political arbitration body, is facing harsh criticism from conservatives who demand he condemn publicly opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

The cleric and former two-time president had indirectly supported Mousavi against Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election after he himself lost to the hardliner in 2005.

Rafsanjani in recent months has distanced himself from the opposition leaders and he condemned the last anti-government demonstrations staged by their supporters. But his stance has not satisfied the conservatives.

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