08 September 2020 :
Updates on the Gholamreza Mansouri case. As Hands Off Cain reported on June 19, the body of former judge Gholamreza Mansouri, 52, was found on June 19, 2020 on the floor of the lobby of the Hotel Duke in Bucharest, Romania, apparently falling from the stairwell. Mansouri was a highly controversial judge and prosecutor who fled Iran in 2019 after some high-level officials were arrested for corruption. He was suspected, along with other magistrates, of having received substantial "bribes" to "fix" trials against important people. Mansouri's lawyer, Amir Hossein Najafpur Sani, interviewed in Tehran by the newspaper Etemaad Online, said on that occasion that the man had phoned his family a few hours earlier, and nothing suggested either a fatal illness or suicidal intent. When news of his presence in Europe spread in early June, Iranian human rights activists started a campaign to have him arrested and tried in Europe, and the many violations he had committed or endorsed clarified. Many Iranians on social media have claimed that Mansouri's death may have likely been a murder, either by Iranian intelligence organs or by the group of corrupt former officials on trial in Iran. Both possible "instigators" had much to gain from his silence. On 4 September, the Bucharest Public Prosecutor's Office issued a statement indicating that it has completed the investigation, and that it considers Mansouri's death a suicide. "He fell from the 5th floor, from a height of 20 meters, dying instantly". Prosecutors said Mansouri, who was under Romanian judicial supervision at the time prior to the court hearings scheduled for July for an extradition request from Tehran, had completed the formalities to leave the hotel, "after which he took the elevator from the ground floor to the 5th floor, from where he jumped." A week before his death, Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint against Mansouri in Germany, where he had been identified before he moved to Romania, accusing him of being responsible for the arrest and torture of at least 20 journalists in 2013. Commenting on the conclusions of the Bucharest prosecutor's office, a brother of Mansouri on Saturday 5 September gave an interview to the newspaper "Modara" in which he rejects the hypothesis of suicide, arguing that the man had such a strong and sincere religious belief that he did not he could neither be responsible for the facts charged to him, nor could he have committed suicide. The name of Mansouri's brother is not indicated by Modara. The brother also refers to a report after the autopsy that would have indicated with certainty signs of a strong struggle before the fall.