Former Tehran mayor goes on trial over wife’s murder

Former mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Ali Najafi, has gone on trial over several charges including the murder of his wife.

Najafi, also a former vice-president, appeared in a criminal court in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday.

The indictment read out in court included murder, assault, battery and illegal possession of a weapon.

The prosecutor also read out a statement from Najafi, who in defense said his slain wife, Mitra Ostad, had threatened him with a knife during one of their recent arguments.

Najafi’s trial was adjourned until July 17 due to the absence of the victim’s family.

In late May, Najafi turned himself in to the police, confessing to the murder of his second wife with gunshots.

The woman, Mitra, was found dead on May 28 with a couple of bullets in her chest. Her 13-year-old boy was home when the police and journalists arrived at the scene.

Najafi was elected as the mayor of Tehran in August 2017, but resigned in April 2018 over health problems.

Soon after the resignation, his wife announced their marriage in a post on her Instagram account.

Affiliated with reformists, Najafi had earlier served as the minister of education and culture in various administrations.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Najafi took the helm at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) during President Hassan Rouhani’s first term, but resigned after six months.

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