May 4, 2020
The former mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Ali Najafi, who is being held in prison for the murder of his second wife said he has paid 100 billion rials (roughly $650,000) to the victim’s immediate relatives and acquired their forgiveness.
In Iran’s Islamic criminal code, if a dead victim’s family forgives the killer, the death penalty can be avoided.
Najafi was married to two women, as Islamic law permits up having up to four wives.
The amount Najafi says he has paid is an astronomical sum of money for an Iranian citizen. Just two years ago 100 billion rials would be at least $2 million. Since then the rial has lost most of its value.
Speaking at his third round of trial on Sunday, May 3, Najafi said the family of his murdered wife was not going to request his execution, based on ‘qisas’, which is retribution in kind.
MIT-educated Mohammad Ali Najafi, 67, shot his 35-year old second wife, Mitra Ostad, at their home in a posh neighborhood of Tehran in May 2019. The police found Ostad’s body with several gunshots in her chest. Hours later, Najafi surrendered to the police.
Mohammad Ali Najafi was sentenced to retribution last year for the murder but the victim’s family forgave him, and the sentence was eventually reduced to six years and six months in prison for manslaughter and one year and three months in prison for possession of an unlicensed firearm.
However, the Islamic Republic Supreme Court overturned a preliminary court ruling, and the case is being reopened.
Najafi also disclosed that he was hesitant to commit suicide or surrender to the police after killing Ms. Ostad. He also reiterated that he did not accept the charge of premeditated murder.