November 6, 2014 By Mohammad Mostafaei, Rayhaneh jabbari’s lawyer

Defending the Defenceless


statement by Rayhaneh’s lawyer regarding her ‘innocence’

In my previous post which titled “Conviction of Rayhaneh Jabbari on charges of defending her honor” many people participated in discussions. Among them was a Judge who claimed to be aware of the contents of the file and considered the petition issued on the death sentence of Rayhaneh Jabbari to be fair enough.

The Judge requested me to present my opinions separately as a fresh post, and with due respect to his request, I have posted it exactly as such. If our friends would like to participate and be included in the discussions in this blog in the form of a fresh post, I announce my willingness, but at the same time request that the views should not be offensive in nature, and that it be presented in a rather scientific and analytical manner. Finally, I will be presenting my defense of Rayhaneh Jabbari, with the hope that with the constructive opinion of our friends, we shall have a nation that respects security and abhors violence.

The matter presented by the Judge:

With sincere greetings to Mr. Mostafaei and other beloved friends who participate in this discussion.

First of all I suggest our dear brother Mr. Mostafaei that for the sake of a better and wider understanding of the contents presented in the comments in relation to the file of Rayhaneh, these comments be transferred and presented as a new post, so that more visitors to this site may participate in discussions.

But then, I must tell Mr. Mostafaei and his friends who said that they are waiting to hear my answer to the question posed by the lawyer that first of all, it is rather unlikely that such a question should arise from your side. My own arguments and observations from the murder scene, and during the course of the flow of the file leading to the final verdict on the vicious killer, Ms. Rayhaneh, were that the proceedings comply with the Sharia law. However I consider the evidence and arguments presented by our friends as against the arguments and issues that I raised.
Why do friends mix up matters!? I think the issue here is ‘negation of the claim to self-defence’. So, until proven otherwise, that the act was really an act of self-defence, we cannot see the matter with prejudice. I mean, first of all, we should agree upon the attack, in its totality, and then explain whether the conditions prevailing during the defence justify the appropriateness of the action taken by the killer, in defending herself. Since, according to my opinion, there was no ‘attack’ or ‘intentions to commit rape’, getting into such a discussion and speculating over the various aspects of self-defence is altogether ruled out. (Even if we were to assume a situation of attempt to rape, however, most certainly, there was consent from the killer’s side, Rayhaneh, as far as ‘mutual proximity’ or ‘adultery’ is concerned).

According to my opinion, such views as held by my friends are misleading, and caused by the perversions of the mind. Ultimately, in this case, there is no scope for discussions on ‘self-defence’ and ‘defending one’s honor’. I ask Mr. Mostafaei, who holds on to such a hypothesis, “why should the death penalty imposed on Rayhaneh be not fair enough!?” What do you really mean by asking me such a question? Is there any law that is more just than the law of retribution for the killing of a soul, which can be found in either domestic or international law? A soul for a soul!

But what my dear friends said and caused pain in my heart is regarding lack of social-security and scope for an increase in rape incidents. I do not know what is the educational qualification of my dear friend Mr. Mostafaei, but if it happens to be above the level of bachelor’s degree, or even higher, certainly he has the knowledge, and in the classes of criminology and criminal sociology it has been mentioned in a very elaborate manner that one of the causes for the occurrence of crime is the ‘victim’ herself, and studies on ‘victimology’ has established this fact.


Although in the discussions on violence there is no need for explaining the principles of criminology, consider this scenario, where a respectable lady who happens to wait for a car-lift at the corner of a street at 9 O’ clock in the night. With this behavior, eventually you put yourself at risk of being a ‘victim’ to the crime, or in another sense, you pave the way for the occurrence of a crime. You, respectable ladies, are definitely a cause for the occurrence of crime. You yourself are the cause of crime, and I think this respectable lady herself must be one of the culprits, and we must take her into account and punish her also. Since the behavior of many a victims leads to crime, Islam has showed us solutions to this issue in a very elegant manner, and that is ‘chastity’ and ‘virtue’.

That friend who stated her viewpoint said, “I myself, have a boyfriend, whom I like, and I have never ever gone to his house” what does this statement mean? Well, my dear madam you yourself are deviated (for the meaning of deviation, refer to the discussions on criminology). These very factors will get accumulated drop by drop and become causes for the emergence of crime in society. Why do we, in our encounters with issues, fail to see our own mistakes and wrong performances, and just look out for reasons to throw the blame on others?! Why do majority of the unmarried women have relationship with the opposite sex, and like this friend of ours, express it with pride? As for this obscene issue, its obscenity has gone away, and in some cases has even turned into a virtue! Now, alas! As regards the relationships of married women who possess husbands, and their friendships with estranged men, let it remain in its own place!

My dear friends, now, it’s a good time for us. Many of you do not have any relations or familiarity with the courts, and are not informed about a lot of things, only because the news is not always published. But know this for sure that, at present ideal conditions that prevail in our society, we certainly promise you that within just a few more years, which is not a distant future, we will fall into crisis over crisis over crisis, and for 90 percent of the times, the fault will be our own and our beloved citizens’, that is, the same friends who gave their opinions in the website, who have forgotten their own mistakes and are looking elsewhere for unrealistic causes.

But in the end, I noted an interesting point, that is, why did so many women participate in these discussions? Majority are women’s names. This point calls for something to be happy about, that is it shows the social advancement of women, and at the same time it calls for something to feel sad about. Unfortunately, the majority of participants in this year’s Bar Exams were women! That is something pitiable. Because this will itself create a bias among the entrants as regards the criminal process carried out within the society. I know from a long time that women have entered in large numbers into the lawyer’s profession and have been working for a modest honorarium, and that they are not able to gather the records as they ought to have gathered, and in this manner give scope for perversions in the criminal proceedings, and furthermore, from the economic perspective also they pose problems to the male lawyers. The financial responsibility of the family lies with the males. So with such negligence and maleficence the female lawyers interfere with the activities of the male lawyers. And since most of the clients, too, choose their lawyers without much awareness, and the one and only thing that they are concerned about is the fee charged by the lawyer, and since they do not understand the significance of other factors like doing the work in the right way, and provision of proper guidance, and securing a healthy legal community, they turn to women lawyers for legal advocacy. Women should work in jobs that are commensurate with their inherent requirements so that they prove to be a source for positive results. Most certainly our dear brother Mr. Mostafaei will also confirm this remark. The efforts of those in charge of the Bar Association are called for to resolve this issue. (And this is my defense. A defense from one of the wings of the Angel of Justice – the beloved Lawyers).

With thanks to our dear friends.

My defense of Rayhaneh Jabbari as her Defense Attorney

(A) Evidence that proves self-defense:

All the investigations in the case, including preliminary interrogations, purely focus on the actions of Rayhaneh. That is, what has Rayhaneh done? what motive did she have? with whom did she have relationships….that is, at first glance this topic seems to perfectly suit a murder case. But when I see how some undeniable facts are excluded, such as that on some of the very essential issues, no investigations have been done, and that some of the evidence that has been gathered, which could have been used in favor of Rayhaneh, has been ignored, we finally come to this conclusion that this case suffers from a big void, and that is: ‘the victim’.

In fact, everything that was related to the victim and has finally led to the murder, including the victim’s exercise of his relationships, even information that could have come from the second mobile phone of the victim and could have proved effective in the case, each and everything has remained silent. Therefore, despite my propensities, I am compelled to prove that Rayhaneh has committed the murder only in ‘defense of her honor’. Based on the evidence and the documents available within the file, I shall review the facts that the distinguished investigator in his indictment has either ignored, or distorted:

1. The nature of acquaintanceship of Rayhaneh with the victim:

According to the statements made by Rayhaneh, while she was coming out from an ice cream parlor by the name of ‘Nasir Ice Creams’ on one of the days in late April 2007, the victim hit the brakes of his black Toyota Camry several times, in front of her, and insisted Rayhana to get into the car. Prior to this action, there was absolutely no familiarity between the victim and Rayhaneh, and there are no contradictory statements, either, which would undermine the nature of Rayhaneh’s relation with the victim. In fact, it was the victim who took initiative in order to gain familiarity with a teenage girl of the age of his own daughter, and to the same effect, gave his mobile number to her, and then collected her contact number. If, according to the words of the respected investigator, as given in the indictment, “the accused, by making friends with an estranged person, has subjected herself to a dangerous situation” the same reasoning proves true in the case of the victim as well, since he too, by making friendship with a girl, who could have been placed in his daughters position, over and above the fact that he has behaved quite contrary to his personal and professional rank, has also brought a lot of risk to the dignity of his personal and family life.

If Rayhaneh, who happens to be a young, inexperienced and ambitious girl, seeing the apparent public outer life of the victim, and attracted by his promises of providing her with facilities like a printing house, an expensive car, a living apartment, and seeing that he is an influential person who has got access to intelligence and security in a society which is governed by customer relationships, where a lot of problems can be solved – if a girl with such perceptions could easily be deceived, what then is the motive of the victim in his taking initiative for building a relationship with a young girl, who was devoid of all the aforementioned qualities? This is a question whose answer was never sought after by the respectable investigator.

(B) Evidence which reveals the victim’s intention to rape:

Based on the evidence and the documents filed in the case, all the actions of the victim on the day of occurrence of the killing, is expressive of his intent to have sex with Rayhaneh. From here on we shall review the evidence:

1. The testimony of Mr. Shahrukh and other employees of the Company called Tirajeh, and the SMS sent from the victim’s mobile phone to that of Rayhaneh’s, saying, “Hi! I’m in Alley Direfsh, No. 52?” that is the company address of Tirajeh, shows that the victim went after Rayhaneh personally in his own car and picked her from her workplace and drove her to the spot where the killing took place. However, the gap between the company where Rayhaneh worked, located in Mufatteh Street, and the site of murder, located in Miremad Street, was very small. So, again, it was the victim who came after Rayhaneh and gave her a lift in his personal car!

2. While all evidence suggests that Rayhaneh’s relationship with the victim was a business relationship, the victim took Rayhaneh to his aunt’s apartment, which, at the time of his murder, was totally vacant. At this point I wish to ask the Honorable Magistrate and the Deputy Prosecutor that if the performance of the prayer by the victim at the site where the murder took place proves his steadfastness and commitment to obligatory duties, how can a person so committed to the performance of obligatory duties, despite all religious teachings, subject himself to an instance where he happens to remain all alone with a strange girl? The tone and language used in the SMS that was sent by Rayhaneh to the victim stating “should I wait for you Mr. Doctor?”, perfectly shows that for Rayhaneh, this relationship was purely formal and job-related, and not even friendly. Likewise, the crime scene analyst has vividly recorded the conditions of the rooms of the apartment, which indicate the fact that Rayhaneh’s intention was purely job-related and within the framework of altering the settings of that place from a ‘living-apartment’ to that of a ‘doctor’s clinic’. In this context, it is noteworthy that contrary to the statements made by Mr. Shahrukh, which seems to have been made in a very peculiar situation and in order to get rid of certain charges, the brochure of the Tirajeh Company in which interior decorations has been explicitly mentioned as one of the services of this company has been submitted as evidence for inclusion in the case records.
3: The victim stops on his way to the aforementioned apartment and buys a few items from a pharmacy located in the Mufatteh Street. Two bags contained oranges. Later on from the investigations carried out in the crime scene, it was found that, among the items that were purchased, there was a packet of condom, the use of which needs no further explanation. The honorable magistrate, since he could not ignore the presence of a packet of condoms at the crime scene, resorts to the idea of weaving and speculation, and, against all principles of logic, ethics and law, writes: “Perhaps the artifacts were placed on the crime scene by the convict herself in order to confuse the minds of the investigating authorities!” Whereas, this doubt could have been cleared by simply enquiring from the local medical shops about the items purchased by the victim! If Rayhaneh had planned her actions to such extreme levels, for example, why did she fail to plan matters in such a way that the weapon used for killing cannot be traced by the investigating officers with such easiness? Why were the telephone number and the SMS messages not deleted from the victim’s mobile phone? And so on and on.

4: According to forensic report, in one of the two glasses of orange juice found on the table in the apartment where the killing took place, there was a drug called Diphenoxylate. This drug is a combination of morphine and a sedative drug, and depending on its proportion and dosage, it can cause side effects such as dizziness, numbness and sleepiness. It is used to relieve withdrawal symptoms in addicts. Obviously this drug has been added to the orange juice which was expected to be drunk by Rayhaneh, and furthermore, we should not forget the fact that the victim was a doctor who know the side effects of the drugs and its applications. Therefore, the question must be posed: was the intention of the victim not to make Rayhaneh sleepy, confused and numb?

According to Rayhaneh’s statements, the victim after pouring the Orange juice spreads a bed sheet on a sofa which was lying in the apartment. This statement which happens to be in perfect harmony with the photos taken from the crime scene, and is recorded in the case file, indicates the victim’s prior intentions to establish sexual relationship with Rayhaneh. Perhaps this bed sheet too was spread on the sofa by Rayhaneh in order to confuse the judicial mind?!



(C) Circumstances in which Rayhaneh has been:

1. Evidence suggests that, at the time of the murder, and before that, the victim and Rayhaneh were alone in that apartment. The fact that only two glasses of Orange juice were present confirms this matter, and further, no evidence has come to us of the presence of a third person at the crime scene during the occurrence of the killing. Under such circumstances, Rayhaneh, by seeing that it is a living apartment, falls prey to doubt and suspicion right from the beginning. When the victim requests her to remove her scarf, she falls into further doubt about the real motive of the victim. And then, after the victim performs two units (rakats) of prayer, he closes the doors of the apartment, and puts his arms around the waist of Rayhaneh as if to embrace her. Due to the robust nature and strong built of the victim, and with his utterance of the words that “you do not have any way out”, and as though, within a sudden instance the face and appearance of the victim turned altogether different, Rayhaneh really felt as if there was no escape for her. She should either sell herself into this unwanted relationship, or try to defend her honor, via any means possible. In expressing Rayhaneh’s lack of interest in establishing a relationship with the victim, I shall just mention one point, which has been confirmed in the case records and that is, if there was interest from her part, she would have given a positive reply when the victim requested her to remove her scarf, and as a result, her scarf wouldn’t have become blood stained when she stabbed him. On the other hand the coroner’s report confirms the presence of stains of blood that came from the victim, on Rayhaneh’s scarf. It may be necessary here to point at the obvious fact that, even if a woman happens to have an illegal, but voluntary relationship with another man, it will not become a justification for any man to exploit his professional position, or class status, and making making false promises, or in the pretext of doing favors, pull her into a quiet place and demand that he has the right to have a sexual relationship with her, against her own will and inclinations. Rayhaneh’s understanding of the victim to be an intelligent and informative person yet again escalated and multiplied her fear of him by several folds. Under such circumstances, Rayhaneh makes use of the few seconds when the victim turns away from her and walks towards the table, and strikes the victim on the right shoulder with a single blow of the knife with the hope that she will be able to escape from that crisis.

2. As regards the presence of a knife in Rayhaneh’s bag which the Honorable Magistrate considers as circumstantial evidence of the intent to commit murder, one point must be noted. Regardless of Rayhaneh’s statements testifying that the victim and (a person by the name of) Sheikhy had asked her several times to equip herself with something for self-defense, [such that even on the day of the killing, when she was with the victim in his car, she had told him that, “the tool for defence that you have been telling me, I have bought it”-] regardless of all such statements, I must say that, in our period the situation of the society is such that, if not all, a majority of women who work outside their home, are compelled, in order to defend themselves in a critical situation, to think of some defense arrangements in advance. To keep a knife in one’s bag for the sake of self-defense, in case you are confronted by a crisis, is a precautionary tactic which not only Rayhaneh but many other women are also trying to adopt, and the blame for the unpleasant consequences of its use must not be put at the feet of the women but at the feet of the police and security forces of the society who were unable to provide safe conditions for their social wellbeing.
(D) Conformity of the issue with the laws of self-defence:

1. Article 61 of the Islamic Penal Code, that is, ‘to defend’ against the ‘current aggression’ or ‘imminent danger’ is considered legitimate, if (1) the situation is really ‘life-threatening’ (2) if force beyond that which is required is not used, and (3) if the defendant is not able to resort to government forces for help. A review of the circumstances that have been mentioned so far shows that, first of all, rape has been in a state of actualization. The provisions for an attempt to rape include, a quiet and vacant home, condoms, a bed sheet spread over the sofa, request to remove the scarf, closing the door, hugging Rayhaneh, and saying, “you do not have any way out”. All these are indicative of a situation where ‘if you do not defend’, ‘rape would have been actualized’. On the other hand, the infliction of just a single blow and that too, to the right shoulder, a spot where, according to rule, if the victim after attaining injury had not physically exerted so much that it has led to severe bleeding, it wouldn’t have led to murder, is suggestive of the fact that the action taken was not ‘beyond the limits of necessity’ and it fits perfectly with the confronting ‘aggression and danger’. Also, the situations were not such that my client could ‘call for help from the government forces and the police’. All these events took place within a very short span of about a quarter of an hour. According to the proof from the print matter of the SMS, at 17 hours and 50 minutes, my client was still present in the company that she worked. At around 6 O’ clock, she gets into the car of the victim, and by considering the time taken for purchase from the pharmacy, by around 06:15 p.m., both my client and the victim reaches the apartment. According to the report of the Magistrate on duty, based on the time at which the neighbors called the police emergency number ‘110’, the killing must have taken place at around 06:30 p.m. So, in such a short time, it was essentially not possible to resort for help from the government forces, and even if we were to hypothetically assume that she was able to seek their help, considering her mental disposition as regards the victim being a very influential and informative person – but of course, based on the results of the enquiry from the Ministry of Information recorded in the case file, it was not too wrong either – Rayhaneh could not hope to find any result in requesting for assistance from the law and enforcement, either. As for the emphasis of the Magistrate in the interrogations, and likewise in the indictment, that Rayhaneh could have run away, or have called for help from the neighbors, first of all, as I have already stated, the events advanced at such a fast pace that Rayhaneh did not have any scope for resorting to any of these measures, and no sooner than she begins to do any of these things, like for example, screaming , or moving towards the door and opening its lock, she would have been confronted by the victim. By considering his powerful physical strength and his robust stature, it is possible that he may even prove to be life-threatening to her. In fact, even after the killing took place and the exit of the victim from the apartment my client was not able to open the doors of the apartment and escape that easily. The presence of traces of blood found on the door knob is suggestive of the efforts of Rayhaneh in trying to open the door. Secondly, the article of law makes no mention that, if anyone caught within the context of an attempt to rape, could either escape, or seek help from neighbors, that persons defence will be considered illegitimate, and in this regard, the Honorable Magistrate has framed the indictment, against the restricted interpretation, and against interpretation favoring the defendant, with arguments that stands contrary to the law.

2. The rejection of Rayhaneh’s statement that she has inflicted the blow only in ‘defense of her honor’, is done, when Rayhaneh, right from the beginning and in all the sessions of questioning and interrogation, has emphasized ‘the defense of her honor’ as the reason for attacking the victim. On the other hand, Rayhaneh’s confession based on the recording of the talks related to the aforementioned attack, has been considered by the Honorable Magistrate as the most important proof of the occurrence of the crime. also, from a legal perspective ‘confession’ is something that cannot be ‘analyzed’ in such a way that we accept part of it as legitimate and reject the other part. During all the stages of the investigation Rayhaneh has said that: “I committed murder in order to defend myself”. Therefore, ‘defence’, is part of the confession to committing murder, while, unfortunately, the solicitor-general by analyzing the confession of my client, has accepted the part of ‘committing the murder’ as proof, and have ignored the part dealing with its ‘essence’ – which is nothing but ‘self-defence’.

Proofs substantiating the unintentional nature of the murder committed by the client:

The topic that demands reflection, alongwith the issues of the defendant’s legal claim and right to self-defence, is how the court deals with the investigations that have been conducted so far, and the final decision of the solicitor general. At all stages of the proceedings, Rayhaneh has stated the facts – though scattered and over a period of time – to the officer and the Magistrate, and we can easily reveal her motives from the very pages of the case records. That is, what motive could Rayhaneh have in committing the crime except other than self-defence? If there happens to be an issue in the case records that does not have any ambiguity or uncertainty surrounding it, it is ‘self-defence’. A ‘defense’ that the legislature has granted to every person so that while confronting a danger they may make use of this legal tool. Therefore, according to what was written, there is no doubt or question as regards the fact that Rayhaneh has defended herself so as not to be molested or raped by the victim. But then why did the Magistrate dealing with the verdict and the indictment in the case, resort to Clause (A) of Article 206 of the Islamic Penal Code? What legally acceptable proof does this claim have that Rayhaneh has committed this murder intentionally with premeditated will and motive? Is it possible to get to the intentions of people who will commit murder, by their sheer purchasing of a knife?

Clause (A) of Article 206 of the Islamic Penal Code ordains: “Under circumstances where a killer by doing something intents to kill a specified person, or a non-specified person/or persons of a collective group, whether it be inherently fatal or nonfatal, but in practice it leads to murder” under such circumstances murder will be regarded as ‘intentional’. As you are already informed, the aforementioned Article mentions only about the ‘instances’ of premeditated murder, but has not explained what premeditated murder is. But from the word ‘premeditated murder’ we can infer that, if a person intentionally and without any legal or religious sanction, separates the soul of a person from his body, he has committed premeditated murder. In Clauses (B) and (C) also, other types of instances of premeditated murder are given. Clause (B), Article 206 says, in cases where the murderer does something deliberately that proves to be inherently fatal, even though he did not have the intent to kill the person, the killing is deemed as intentional. And in Clause (C) it says, instances where the killer did not have the intention to kill, and the thing which he does is not inherently fatal, but however the other person, either due to illness or old age or disability, or in being a child, or the likes thereof, gets inherently killed, and the killer too happens to be aware of it, such cases are considered as an ‘instance’ of premeditated murder.

Please note that the killer should either have an ‘intent’ or a ‘prior bad faith’ over killing; or he should perform an act ‘intentionally’ that is ‘inherently fatal’ in nature even if he did not have ‘intentions to kill’; or the act should be ‘inherently fatal’ in relation to the other person.

In our case, none of the above mentioned clauses can be attributed to the act committed by Rayhaneh. But the Magistrate handling the case, in order to associate intentional murder to Rayhaneh by any possible means and to make self-defense as something not worthy of being heard, finds a way out by resorting to the use of Clause (A) of Article 206 of the Islamic Penal Code; and the indictment to be set up in such a way as to pretend that Rayhaneh had prior intentions over premeditated murder. But, why? Because, he does not want to accept the claim of self-defence from the client, and he cannot subject the case of Rayhaneh to Clause (B) of Article 206, since the act she had committed was however for self-defense, and since there was no element of ‘deliberateness’ within it, it is not ‘inherently fatal’ either.

Since the victim was stabbed by the knife on the right side of his body, he was active for a considerable period of time. That which causes his death is ‘bleeding’ due to a knife stab, an act that is not ‘inherently fatal’ in nature.

The famous Magistrate knew very well that he cannot make use of these legal regulations. Therefore he chooses Clause (A) of Article 206, that in this context, in defending the rights of Rayhaneh I bring the below mentioned facts to the attention of the Supreme Judge:

1. The necessity in citing this Legal Clause is to prove Rayhaneh’s ‘intention’ in committing the murder, and in this respect, ‘inherently fatal’ or ‘nonfatal’ nature of the committed act will not have any effect in the murder being ‘intentional’. If Rayhaneh had the intention to kill, it was obvious and necessary that she inflict the victim with several blows of the knife, to really bring him down. Whereas Rayhaneh just inflicted a single blow to the victim’s body, and we all know that in the case records related to murder, if a person had intentions to murder another person, since the criminal consequence of depriving another person of his life will also be there within his purview, he will bring his opponent to ground by inflicting him with repeated blows of the knife. If Rayhaneh had the intentions to kill the deceased person, she would have attacked him with the knife by targeting a sensitive point in his body. By no means did Rayhaneh have the intentions to commit murder, and for the same reason, she only wanted to injure the deceased person so that it would get rid of the thoughts that he had in his mind and dissuade him from being offensive. For the same reason she inflicts the knife injury on the right side of the victim’s body, by maintaining a distance from the heart. Certainly, if Rayhaneh had the intentions to commit murder, she could have easily targeted that same blow on the heart of the victim, and by not letting the deceased to go out of the apartment, she could have fled from there.
2. We cannot consider the purchase of a single unit of knife as proof of intention to kill another person. If that was the case, then all the killings that take place with a knife would be intentional and Clause (A) of Article 206 would apply to all of them. If the vast majority of killings that take place with a knife, and that too with a single attack, were to be denied by the accused as being ‘intentional’, despite the fact that the injury was inflicted on a sensitive part of the body, under such circumstances Clause (B) of Article 206 could have been invoked on them. Therefore, the deputy prosecutor’s claim stating, “Since Rayhaneh had procured the knife in advance, she had the intentions to commit murder”, is a baseless and unjustifiable claim.

3. Rayhaneh does not have any past criminal records. She is an inexperienced youth, looking out for a prosperous life and seeking an appropriate job, until fate brings her into acquaintance with the deceased. Rayhaneh worked in her workplace from morning till evening and earned just 150,000 Toumans as salary. The deceased person’s encounter with her as a just person, who was rich and experienced, and with a different sort of personality, seemed all too fascinating to Rayhaneh. For the same reason she gets easily seduced by him, and finally, one day he takes her to an apartment that was empty and vacant, and with the intentions to harass her, prepares the ground for the attack by the client. Now, if Rayhaneh had the intentions to kill, she could have chosen a way, or plotted a scheme so as not to give herself up to the law with such easiness. It was not necessary for her to take the knife and its cover along with her to her house. She could have easily thrown it into one of the gutters in the street, and removed every trace of its existence. Nobody had seen Rayhaneh in the apartment along with the deceased, and therefore, right from the beginning of the affair she could have denied the act of premeditated murder. Instead, right from the beginning of the affair, right from the moment she starts talking to the famous Magistrate over the phone, she begins to cry and moan. Whereas if she had committed the act deliberately, she would have prepared the grounds for gaining immunity from criminal liabilities.

4. In principle, someone who makes an attempt at murder, or has intentions to commit a criminal act of murder, has a strong ‘motive’ to justify his\her act. A motive like theft, hatred, or severe and intolerable hostility. Or else, the person could have put forward ‘self-defence’ as a justification for committing the murder. In the present case, even though from a financial perspective the deceased was in a very high rank, such that, even in the coat he was wearing he had no less than four million (Toumans) in cash, and documents and certificates of ownership, or his expensive car, none of them were stolen, and from the viewpoint of the Court of Criminal Affairs the motive behind committing the crime has always remained unclear within a halo of obscurity. Under the circumstances that self-defence remains the only motive of Rayhaneh in inflicting injury with a single attack of the knife over the right side of the deceased. But why does this motive fail to gain acceptance? only God knows,

5. Really, why does the Honorable Solicitor General consider the remarks of Rayhaneh about self-defence as not worthy of being heard, and sets up the indictment in such a way that Rayhaneh cannot defend herself as how she ought to, or would have defended. It is true that the attorney stands in the position of a Public Prosecutor, but this authority must not be simply one-sided, and without paying attention to certain irrefutable events found in the file. When the Magistrate extracts the SMS messages from Rayhaneh’s cell phone, at once he comes to a message which was sent by Rayhaneh to a person called Akhundi, in which she says, “I will kill him tonight”. This creates an impression for the Magistrate that, what she meant was about the killing of the deceased person, Mr. Sarbandi. But, after the investigations regarding this message came to an end, they came to know that there was no connection between the SMS and the homicide. Rayhaneh was kept in solitary confinement for a long period of time. The reason for her sending this SMS was a conflict with her father, and it was her father that she meant in the SMS. Her father, Mr. Akhundi also uses the same phrase. While no records of previous collusion owing to her solitary confinement can be found, but, none the less, even then the Honorable Deputy Prosecutor stuck to his hypothesis and wanted to set up the indictment without any legally acceptable proofs and wanted the court to sentence Rayhaneh to death.

I am indeed very sure that there are certain hands playing in between, who has until now, not given the permission to accept Rayhaneh’s claims to self-defence. For what reason did Rayhaneh remain in solitary confinement for almost 56 days, facing spiritual and psychological torture. Unfortunately, the answer is, since the judge could not arrest the victim’s friend, he laid the burden of his sensitivities on my client’s shoulders.

Rayhaneh sincerely accepted the responsibility of the crime, and announced ‘self-defence’ to be the motive behind it. If she really had an intention to commit murder, she would have broken her silence during the solitary confinement, when she was subjected to torture. Also, if she knew about the friend and close companion of the deceased by the name of Sheikhy, she would have introduced him. Which sane person in this world will throw oneself into the mire of death, only to save someone who has deceived her. Rayhaneh knew Mr. Sheikhy, Mr. Zarqainy, and the deceased only through their names, and did not have any deep familiarity with them or their possibly illegal activities, and really did not know whether the deceased worked in the ministry of information or he got separated from there. Considering the fact that various proofs and signs exist with respect to the innocence of Rayhaneh from committing the crime of premeditated murder, and that she had only defended herself from a potential attempt to rape from the victims side, I made an appeal to the court for a judgment of acquittal on my client, which was unfortunately not accepted.

Here I once again request the readers of this Blog, especially the lawyers, to express your views and opinions. I have the deep conviction that your critical views will not only have an impact on the Judges decisions, but at the same time, the common people will have a more realistic view about this issue.

Translated by Dr: Arshad

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