Iranian ex-judge dead or alive, brother’s remarks puts Romanian police performance under question

FNA – Brother of fugitive Iranian ex-judge Gholamreza Mansouri whose body was claimed to be found in a hotel in Romania in June said that the family has no information to make sure Mansouri is dead or alive.

“It is not clear to us if Gholamreza Mansouri is dead or alive and they (Romania) have provided us with no image, evidence and DNA to prove my brother’s death,” his brother told FNA on Wednesday.

Asked if the body of his brother has been returned to Iran, he said that nothing has yet been declared to them.

Mansouri’s brother said that the Interpol department of the Iranian police contacted them a few days ago and they were due to hold a meeting and travel to Romania to investigate the case, but nothing new has been told to them so far.

“Our last contact with my brother was the noon that the accident happened and he was concerned about his security and the (Iranian) embassy had not received him,” he said.

Late last month, Iran’s Interpol Chief Brigadier General Hadi Shirzad said that his country had demanded Romania to send the DNA profile of Mansouri, adding that Bucharest has not yet provided Tehran with any solid document in the case.

Shirzad said that Romania had identified the dead person in the Bucharest hotel as Gholamreza Mansouri based on the documents carried by the deceased person, but “we certainly need other proofs and evidence, including his DNA, to firmly confirm the dead person’s identity”.

“We have demanded for the DNA profile and the Romanian Interpol has also announced that the DNA profile is being prepared and will be sent to Iran soon,” he added.

General Shirzad complained that the Romanian police had not yet sent any proof, document or evidence to Iran on the cause or incentive behind the death of Mansouri, but pointed out that Bucharest has promised to provide the Interpol in Tehran with more information in the next few days.

Iran last month called again on the Romanian government for clarifications on different aspects of Mansouri’s death.

“The issue has some ambiguities. Despite (our) demands, the Romanian government has not yet cleared the issue. The foreign ministry, Iran’s mission, Judiciary and the Interpol are pursuing the issue and we demand Romania to inform Iran officially and in written on whatever has happened. We have not received anything new yet except the media reports,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi told reporters in a press conference.

“We still want clarification of all aspects of the issue. I demand the Romanian government and relevant officials of the country to provide us with the latest information as soon as possible,” he added.

Also in June, Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli had also criticized Romania’s lack of cooperation with the country on the death of Mansouri, saying that Tehran’s information is limited to Romanian media reports and a short quotation from Bucharest’s Prosecutor.

Tehran has urged Bucharest to prepare a full report on the death of its fugitive ex-judge Gholamreza Mansouri in Romania, Esmayeeli said.

He added that Iran is pursuing the case via its foreign ministry and Interpol and has also sent several letters to Romanian Judiciary chief.

Iran will not leave the case as it had announced Mansouri as ‘wanted’ and he was under the surveillance of the (Romanian) police, the spokesman noted.

Unfortunately, Western countries and the US, which boisterously claim to fight money- laundering and financial corruption, provide shelter for Iranian financial criminals, he underlined.

In relevant remarks last month, Iran’s Deputy Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said Romania should account for the death of Mansouri in the European country.

“The Romanian government should certainly be accountable. He [Mansouri] had stated his intention to return to Iran and he was under police control and the Romanian government should account for his death,” Mohseni Ejei said.

“There are ambiguities and effort should be made to clarify them,” he added.

Also last month, Iranian Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri in a letter to his Romanian counterpart Augustin Lazar called for rapid and serious investigations into Mansouri’s death.

“I demand you to order serious and comprehensive investigations into the cause of Mansouri’s death given the importance of this issue and finding the reality and the responsibility that relevant judiciary officials and Interpol of Romania have had to protect and monitor the suspect,” Montazeri said in his letter.

He also called for identification and prosecution of individuals possibly involved in Mansouri’s death.

Montazeri asked Lazar to send him a complete report about the prosecution and judicial case and the incident which led to Mansouri’s death via Iran’s mission in Bucharest.

Iran in June had confirmed that Mansouri who was accused of receiving bribe before fleeing the country, had been arrested by the Interpol in Romania.