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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:44, April 10, 2006
Switzerland orders arrest of Iranian ex-minister on murder charges
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A Swiss judge has issued an arrest warrant for the former head of Iran's secret police for his alleged role in the killing of a leading Iranian dissident 16 years ago.

Ali Fallahian is charged with masterminding the assassination of Kazem Rajavi, a renowned Iranian opposition leader, near Geneva in April 1990.

According to a report by Lausanne-based newspaper Le Matin Dimanche, the international arrest warrant was issued by Swiss investigating magistrate Jacques Antenen on March 20.

It called on law enforcement agencies to arrest Fallahian - who for years headed Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security ( MOIS) and is currently a security advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei - and transfer him to the Canton Vaud Prison in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday that the warrant had been issued.

"The Iranian authorities have yet to react to it," spokesman Lars Knuchel told Swiss Radio International (SRI).

He added that the assassination had been a source of discussion between Bern and Tehran since 1990.

Kazem Rajavi, the then representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Switzerland, was gunned down in broad daylight by several MOIS agents on April 24, 1990 as he was driving to his home in Coppet, a village near Geneva, SRI said.

Two of the hitmen were later discovered in France and arrested by French police.

But despite a warrant for their arrest by the Swiss authorities, the French government put them on a direct flight to Tehran "for reasons of Sate".

The NCRI charged that Ayatollah Khamenei and former President Rafsanjani were also "directly involved" in ordering the assassination and should be issued international arrest warrants as well.

But the Iranian authorities have always denied any involvement in the attack.

Source: Xinhua

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