Iran's judiciary abruptly ended the trial of a secret agent charged with killing a Canadian photojournalist last year. Angry lawyers walked out of court and threatened to take the case to international organizations.
"We left the court in protest because our demands have been ignored," said Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who leads a legal team representing the mother of the slain woman, Zahra Kazemi.
Canadian and European diplomats and journalists were denied access to the proceedings Sunday. Canadian Ambassador Philip MacKinnon and other diplomats waited nearly two hours outside the court and then left.
Kazemi, 54, who held Canadian and Iranian passports and lived in Quebec, died July 10, 2003, while in detention for taking photographs outside a prison in Tehran during student-led protests against the ruling establishment.
Iranian authorities initially said Kazemi died of a stroke, but a presidential committee later found that she died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage from a blow to the head.
The court had met three times in the trial of Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, the only person implicated by the judiciary in the killing. He pleaded not guilty Saturday.
Ebadi said the court should summon several top officials, including Said Mortazavi, a prosecutor, to explain Kazemi's murder. The Canadian government has blamed Mortazavi for the death. Mortazavi's office has denied the allegations.
Ahmadi's lawyer, Qasem Shabani, said he expected an acquittal. No date was set for the verdict.