[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[Iranian] Bar Association
[Date: 21 Dey 1392 (11 January 2014)]
Lawyer and legal advisor
Licence Number: 13944
The Respected Interrogator of Branch 2 of the Public and Revolutionary Courts of Bandar Abbas
Respectfully, regarding classified file 9209987613100670 and archive number 920709, the subject of complaints of the blood relatives of the deceased Ataollah Rezvani concerning his murder, on behalf of his estate, I bring to your attention that:
On 2/6/1992- [24 August 2013] the late Ataollah Rezvani disappeared while on his way home, and the next day the Criminal Investigation Office of Bandar Abbas contacted his son Kourosh Rezvani to say that his father’s body had been found on a road outside the city. Immediately, the principals prepared a complaint about the murder of Ataollah Rezvani and gave it to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. On 6/6/1392 [28 August 2013] on behalf of the estate, I advised that I was legally representing the estate and would follow the file.
In the report of the forensic physician, number 1001/T, dated 5/6/1392 [27 August 2013], the reason for death was “a hard trauma on the brain tissues, due to being hit with some penetrating object, such as (a bullet).” The weapons expert, despite being incompetent in scientific or technical issues, concluded that it was a suicide and expressed some reasons for that. Now, considering what has been mentioned above, to dismiss the claim of a suicide, which has been expressed orally by the respected investigator and Mr. Rezaei, the expert of the Criminal Investigation Department, and given that the investigator has, up to now, been in doubt between murder and suicide, the following reasons will be furnished:
- According to the views of the expert forensic physician and specialist on recognition of weapons, and the photos that exist in the file, the direction of the bullet was from right to left. The fact is that the deceased was left-handed and only used his right hand for writing. During investigation it was asked of his wife, “Was your late husband right-handed or left-handed?” She responded, “Right-handed; he was doing all his work with his right hand”. There was a mistake in her statement [with regard to his being right-handed] due to her mental condition when she was interrogated. [His wife,] Mrs. Roshanak Shakibaie, disclosed the mistake during later investigation and she said so in her subsequent statement. Also, in the minutes of investigation on 21/7/1392 [13 October 2013] by that respected investigator, I once more referred to this matter and it was stated that to prove this matter we were prepared to introduce witnesses who are ready to give testimony to the accuracy of this fact.
- The report of the assessment and examination of the place [of the crime], which was prepared by Major Abdol-Majid Karami, and also the report of the examination by the respected investigator from the place where the crime was committed, explain that during the discovery of the body, the car was still running and the hand-brake had not been applied, which indicates that there was no intention of suicide by the deceased.
- The deceased had purchased stationery and a calculator for one hundred thousand tumans on the day of the murder. How is it possible that a person who intends to commit suicide looks forward to the future and shops for his work?
- The deceased had not done [compulsory] military service, so he had no primary knowledge of weapons; how is it possible for such a person to choose a method of suicide with which he was not familiar?
- Major Karami says in his report that his hands were free in front of his body, and this is visible in the photos which were taken [from the crime scene]. If a person uses his right arm to shoot, his arm will fall over his feet or on the right hand (passenger) seat.
- Before disappearing, the deceased picked up a worker named Karim from his friend’s house and drove him for some distance. According to Karim, before he got into the car, [the deceased] was talking to someone on the phone. He looked a bit angry and upset and not his usual happy and joyful self. This person [?] was the last one who saw the deceased. He disappeared about one month after the incident and there is no news of him. Is this a coincidence in the eyes of the respected investigator?
- In the report of the identification specialist, it was mentioned that only the deceased’s finger- prints were found in the car; according to the last section, Karim was also in the car one hour before the incident, so why were his fingerprints not found? Does it not mean that the killer or killers may have wiped out the traces of their fingerprints, also wiping out Karim’s fingerprints?
- During investigation of the deceased’s car and personal items, it became clear that the weapon and his mobile phone were missing, which seemed [to indicate] that the murderers may have taken them. Unfortunately, the expert from criminal investigations and the respected interrogator [of the case], in order to justify suicide and insist on that hypothesis, claimed a [subsequent] robbery by some passers-by. But what is not known is, if the assumed thief was so brave as to take the weapon from the hands of a body, why did he not steal the deceased’s car?
- The respected investigator initially ordered a printout of the phone conversations and text messages of the deceased, which, unfortunately, were not in the file up to the time of studying the file on 21/7/1392 [13 October 2013]. They have not yet been given to me as the lawyer for the estate. On the other hand, the lost mobile phone of the deceased has not been traced. I request that, for the sake of protecting the rights of [my] clients, these two issues be promptly resolved.
- In the itemized report, there was mention of the discovery of one bullet of the Colt gun behind the passenger seat. In order to explain that it was suicide, the respected investigator said that the deceased had been loading the weapon and the bullet fell. The question here is why the bullet fell at the back of the passenger seat. [Illegible] was sitting there? Or is it because the murderer was sitting there and [illegible] bullet fell there?
- According to the investigation report of 9/7/1392 [1 October 2013], help was sought from a repairer of batteries to find the shell of the bullet which was fired, and he found it under the console in the middle of the car, near the hand brake, on top of the lighter; but so far, the pellet of the bullet has not been found and weapons experts and the respected investigator are using the idea of the pellet’s melting inside the skull, which is something to which the medical investigation and performing autopsy has made no reference, and this idea has never been proved.
- If we accept the theory of suicide, there must have been traces of blood on the right hand of the deceased as a result of shooting a bullet (if we presume he was right handed); the review of the photos from the discovery of the body proves that no [blood] was found [on his hand].
- Lastly, and most importantly, to dismiss the idea of the suicide of the deceased, is the lack of traces of gun powder on his hands; although it is not visible to the naked eye, the forensic doctor has not referred to it and accordingly [it can be concluded that] during the scientific and technical examination there was no trace of it.
Finally, taking into account the above statements, the theory of the suicide of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani is incorrect, and we request the respected interrogator of the case to issue appropriate orders with the purpose of preserving the legal rights of the estate and the sensitivity of the case. We also remind your office that this case is so sensitive that the deputy for following up on crimes at the judiciary wrote on 13/7/1392 [5 October 2013] to the respected interrogator of the case, and requested that a copy of the images and the evidence be sent to the Human Rights Centre at the Judiciary.
Address: Tehran [address is provided]
[Handwritten note on top of page:] 9210097613100050- 21 Dey 1392 [11 January 2014]