Iran Detains Ex-Prosecutor Convicted In 2009 Prisoner's Death

An Iranian news agency affiliated with the judiciary is reporting that police have arrested a former Tehran prosecutor who faces a two-year prison sentence over the death of a prisoner arrested during Iran's 2009 mass antigovernment protests.

The website of the Mizanonline news agency said on April 22, citing an "informed source'" that Said Mortazavi had been identified and arrested in a city in the north of the country.

Mortazavi, former chief prosecutor for the capital, Tehran, was sentenced to two years in prison in November 2017 for complicity in the death of a person arrested during Iran's 2009 antigovernment protests.

Last week, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei said that while a warrant has been issued for Mortazavi's arrest, the authorities had "not been successful in getting [their] hands on him."

Mortazavi's wife and lawyer had denied he was missing, but said he was looking to appeal the ruling.

During his six years as Tehran's prosecutor and before that as a judge, Mortazavi was linked to the closure of dozens of reformist publications and the jailing of dozens of journalists.

He is blacklisted by the United States and the European Union for "grave violations of human rights."

Canada has blamed Mortazavi for the 2003 death in custody of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

Mortazavi was suspended by the judiciary in 2014 in connection with the 2009 deaths of three protesters in a detention center in Tehran.

With reporting by AP, Mizanonline and ISNA