An Iranian judge has charged an intelligence ministry interrogator with the killing of a Canadian-Iranian journalist.
Zahra Kazemi: Held after taking photographs
Zahra Kazemi died two months ago after suffering fatal head injuries while in custody.
Judge Javad Esmaeili, who has been heading an independent inquiry into her death, charged the official with "semi-premeditated murder", according to a prosecutor's office statement.
There was no immediate explanation of the charge.
The agent, whose identity has not been revealed, was one of two
intelligence ministry officials who had already been charged over
But earlier this month, the prosecutor's office rejected the
charges and called for further investigations.
In its statement, released on Monday, the prosecutor's office said: "The crime is attributed to one of the interrogators and the reasons have been presented
in the lawsuit against the accused."
It added that the judge had also concluded
that no government body was behind the crime.
Kazemi, 54, died three weeks after being detained for
taking photographs outside a Tehran prison during
Her death intensified the political struggle in Iran between President Mohammad Khatami's
reformist allies and hardline supporters of clerical rule.
Kazemi was buried despite calls for her body to be returned to Canada
Initially, hardline Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi
said Kazemi had died of a stroke.
committee discredited this version of events, finding that she had died
of head injuries sustained while in custody.
The affair led to Canada withdrawing its ambassador from Iran in protest.
There was further anger after the journalist's body was buried in
her birthplace, the southern Iranian city of Shiraz,
against the wishes of Canadian authorities and her son, who
lives in Montreal.
Kazemi's son, Stephan Hachemi, described the latest development move as a
"manipulation by the Iranian Government".