August 3, 2020
The brother of an Iranian judge who died in Romania in suspicious circumstances says the family has not been able to positively identify the body sent back to Iran recently.
Judge Gholamreza Mansouri wanted in a large corruption case in Iran had somehow fled the country last year. In June it was discovered he was in Europe; possibly Germany. Both the Iranian government and human rights organizations began pursuing his arrest. Iran wanted him extradited and human rights activists wanted him tried in Europe for violations he committed as a judge, specially by summarily convicting journalists.
In mid- June he surfaced in Romania where police arrested him. As he was waiting for extradition hearings, he was found dead in a hotel and so far it is not clear if he fell from an upper floor to his death by accident, suicide or murder.
Now his brother says the family visited the coroner’s office twice to identify the body but from physical appearances, they could not be sure if it belonged to Judge Mansouri. The family could not identify his face and body proportions also seemed incompatible, the brother was quoted as saying.
Iranian media have not named his brother in many reports about the case in recent weeks. He was quoted several times criticizing the Romanian government for lack of cooperation in the case and insisting that Mansouri was “assassinated”.
Romanian Police have not yet clearly stated whether the judge committed suicide or was the victim of a homicide. His brother claims that the judge had told the family that he was worried about his safety and may have been assassinated.
The brother is also quoted as saying that the government has taken DNA samples from close relatives and the family is awaiting the results.