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World News

Iranian judge in Romania committed suicide, prosecutors say

FILE PHOTO: Forensic medicine staff carry a body bag, allegedly containing the remains of Gholamreza Mansouri, outside a hotel in downtown Bucharest, Romania, June 19, 2020. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS/File Photo

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A fugitive Iranian judge whose corpse was found in a Bucharest hotel in June had committed suicide by jumping from a hotel’s 5th floor, Romanian prosecutors said on Friday.

Gholamreza Mansouri, 52, fled corruption charges in Iran last year, one of several judges accused during a high-profile trial.

He was found dead on June 19 in the lobby of a hotel in Romania’s capital. He had been under Romanian judicial supervision ahead of court hearings scheduled for July over a request by Tehran to extradite him.

European pro-democracy groups had also accused him of human rights violations.

Bucharest’s prosecuting unit, which closed the case this week, said in a statement Mansouri was the only client in the hotel. “He fell from the 5th floor through the indoor (staircase) illuminator, from a height of 20 metres, hitting the ground floor to die on the spot.”

The prosecutors said he vacated his 6th floor room and completed departure formalities, “after which he took the elevator from the ground floor up to the 5th floor, from where he jumped.”

A week before his death, the Paris-based media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint against Mansouri in Germany, where he was believed to have resided before travelling to Romania, accusing him of being responsible for the arrest and torture of at least 20 journalists in 2013.

Reporting by Radu Marinas; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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