• Short Summary

    The former head of Iran's Revolutionary Courts
    dubbed "the hanging judge" has died.


  • Description

    The former head of Iran's Revolutionary Courts
    dubbed "the hanging judge" has died.

    The former head of Iran's Revolutionary Courts,
    dubbed "the hanging judge" for sending hundreds to the
    gallows in the first months after the 1979 Islamic
    revolution, has died, a relative said on Thursday.

    Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali, who in recent years had
    expressed his support for the political reform movement led
    by President Mohammad Khatami, died on Wednesday aged 76
    after battling a series of health problems.

    The relative, who asked not to be named, told Reuters
    that Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali had Parkinson's disease,
    heart and brain problems and had been very ill for the last
    eight months.

    Khalkhali became notorious in the West after he
    appeared on television poking with a stick the burnt
    corpses of U.S. soldiers killed in an unsuccessful mission
    to rescue 52 hostages held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

    As head of the Revolutionary Courts he ordered the
    execution of many of the deposed shah's top military
    officers, secret police (SAVAK) leaders, civilian officials
    and scores of Kurds caught up in an uprising in Iran's
    Kurdish-majority regions.

    Concerned by Khalkhali's harsh punishments the founder
    of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
    dismissed him in 1980.

    Khalkhali, who was unrepentant about his rulings, spent
    much of the past decade out of the public gaze in the holy
    city of Qom in central Iran.

    Following Khatami's 1997 landslide election win
    Khalkhali pronounced himself an advocate of reforms but he
    was viewed with distrust by Khatami's allies.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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