Fugitive former Iranian judge, Gholamreza Mansouri, was found dead in the Romanian capital Bucharest in suspicious circumstances.
RFE/RL’s correspondent in Romania says that Mansouri fell out of a window. It is not clear whether he jumped out or was pushed into his death.
Based on official reports, Duke Hotel receptionist in Bucharest informed the Romanian police that the body of a resident from one of the upper floors had been found at 2:30 pm local time on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.
Judge Gholamreza Mansouri was not initially named in the police report, and merely referred to as a 52-year-old individual under legal custody.
Later, our correspondent in Bucharest cited the Romanian Police spokesman as confirming that the deceased was Gholamreza Mansouri. He was already dead by the time the ambulance arrived. Police say he fell from the sixth floor.
Detectives from the Romanian homicide department have initiated an investigation to decide the nature of the deadly incident, our reporter says, adding they are trying to find whether it was a murder (pushed out of the window), a suicidal act, or an accident.
The fugitive judge is accused of receiving half a million euros (about $560,000) bribe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. During a recent court hearing about widespread financial corruption in the country’s Judiciary it was revealed that Judge Mansouri had fled Iran.
The news about his presence in Europe earlier this month prompted Iranian human rights activists and Amnesty International to demand his arrest for persecuting journalists in Iran.
Later, it was revealed that the fugitive judge was in Bucharest, Romania. Reacting to the revelation the Islamic Republic said that Judge Mansouri was under Interpol detention at Tehran’s request. “He will soon be extradited to Iran,” the Islamic republic Judiciary claimed at the time.
Nonetheless, a Romanian court on June 12 postponed the extradition of Mansouri, demanding Tehran present documents and evidence against the accused. He was released from custody and was under police watch.
Meanwhile, Romanian media had reported that Mansouri protested his arrest by the local police and claimed that he was a permanent resident of Turkey, where he owns a residence.
“If extradited to Iran, my life would be in danger,” Mansouri told local media.
Moreover, a complaint against Mansouri was also lodged in Germany by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for his role in human rights violations, including the mass arrest of journalists in 2013.
Gholamreza Mansouri, who was previously the investigator of Branch 9 of the Culture and Media Prosecutor’s Office and the head of the prosecutor’s office, was also involved in the seizure of some newspapers in Iran and the arrest of a group of journalists in 2012.