June 23, 2020 / 7:12 PM / 16 days ago

Iranian judge in Romania died of impact from fall, autopsy says

BUCHAREST, June 23 (Reuters) - An Iranian fugitive judge whose body was found in a hotel in Romania last week died of the impact from a fall, a Romanian autopsy said.

Gholamreza Mansouri, 52, had fled corruption charges in Iran last year, one of several judges accused by the Iranian authorities of graft during a high-profile trial.

He was found dead on Friday in the lobby of a hotel in Romania’s capital Bucharest. He had been under Romanian judicial supervision ahead of court hearings scheduled for July 10 over a request by Tehran to extradite him.

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

Bucharest’s prosecuting unit said in a statement on Tuesday that a forensic autopsy had reached preliminary conclusions that his death was “caused by traumatic injuries incompatible with life, produced by hitting a hard surface”.

The police said that hotel staff had found a guest dead in the lobby after he appeared to have fallen from a higher floor from inside the building’s circular staircase.

Iran’s foreign ministry has confirmed Mansouri’s death and called for a thorough investigation. It said he had been arrested in Romania on the basis of an Iranian warrant, after having visited the Iranian embassy to discuss the possibility of returning to Iran. (Reporting by Radu Marinas Editing by Peter Graff)

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