The international NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has announced that it has filed a complaint with German federal prosecutors against the Iranian judge, Gholamreza Mansouri.
Mansouri, an ex-prosecutor judge in the court of Lavasan responsible for the arbitrary arrests of many journalists, has reportedly been in the country for years.
He is understood to have “fled” to Germany after allegedly taking a 500,000-euro bribe in Iran. The accusation surfaced in an Iranian court on Sunday, June 7 during the trial of other prominent members of Iran’s judiciary on corruption charges.
The Persian branch of RSF tweeted on Thursday that it had asked German authorities to arrest Mansouri for the suppression and imprisonment of at least 20 journalists in Iran, stating: “The German prosecutor should not let him escape justice.”
In February and March 2013 Mansouri is ordered the arrest and detention of 20 journalists in the country.
Among them were Akbar Montajabi, Javad Daliri, Sasan Aghaei, Nasrin Takhiri, Motahara Shafiei, Fatemeh Sagharchi, Milad Fadaei, Soleiman Mohammadi, Pouria Alemi, Pejman Mousavi, Narges Judaki, Emily Amrai, Keyvan Mehregan, Saba Azarpeyk, Reyhaneh Tabatabai, Ali Dehghan, and Ali Dehghan Amraei, who were all summoned and subsequently detained by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry.
He is also alleged to have ordered raids on several newspaper offices in Iran and to have had a hand in the hostage-taking of the family of Saeed Karimian, the owner of Persian entertainment channel Gem TV, who was later assassinated.
News of his flight to Germany was made public in the first session of the trial of Akbar Tabari, a former head of Iran’s judiciary arrested in a mass corruption probe last year.
In the courtroom, Mansouri’s seat as the ninth defendant in the case was empty. A number of the 20 journalists who were arrested in 2013 shared the revelation on Twitter.
But a day later, the so-called fugitive judge released a video of himself in Germany announcing that he would attend the court when the borders reopen.
Media outlets close to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, though, said he had not yet visited the Iranian embassy.