Sunday, June 7, 1998 Published at 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
World: Middle East
Tehran mayor denies corruption
The case involving Mr Karbaschi could stir up turmoil
The mayor of Tehran, Gholam Hossein Karbaschi, has vehemently denied corruption charges at the start of his controversial trial in the Iranian capital.
The case, which is being held in public, has stirred deep political turmoil in the country. Mr Karbaschi is a leading reformist figure in Iranian politics. His supporters say he is being prosecuted by the conservative-dominated judiciary for political reasons.
The BBC correspondent at the proceedings says the mayor appeared confident at the hearing, which was crowded with a jostling pack of camera men and reporters.
Mr Karbaschi's arrest in April split conservatives and moderates in the Iranian leadership. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, intervened to release him after his detention caused a political furore amongst his supporters.
Our correspondent says it was thought that the affair might be quietly brushed under the carpet following his release. However, the judiciary insisted on going ahead with the case.
It is not known how long the trial will last.