Monday, March 06, 2006

Ganji's Attorney Released on $1 Million Bail

Rooz Online:
After spending seven months in prison, Abdolfatah Soltani, a prominent Iranian lawyer was eventually released on a 1 billion Rial bail. Soltani is a founding member of the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights and defense lawyer for imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji who was arrested last year on charges of revealing state secrets. The following interview was conduced a few minutes after his release. Read on:

Soltani said: “I have been released now on a Rials1 billion bail (over $1 million) and my court trial will probably begin after the Iranian new year (March 21st). to defend me or not.The court will determine whether I can have my lawyer No lawyer has been given access to my files during the past seven months. I too have not been given my file to read.” READ MORE

In response to a question regarding a requirement for him to return to prison, Soltani said that judiciary officials could require that only if a court orders so, which till now it has not.I am not aware of my release conditions,” Soltani said. Surrounded by a circle of relatives and friends, Soltani describes his feelings as a lawyer who had worked on political cases as helpful but also a bitter-sweet experience. Soltani said the experience of solitary confinement and other pressures in prison, including the psychological damage that exists on one's soul could be disappointing. “But the experience can also be useful, especially in the defense of other defenders and in exposing the acts of those that violate the law,” he added.

On his arrest which had come to him as a complete surprise, Soltani that the judiciary had been planning this for seven or eight years.