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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Gallows confession wins reprieve
Hanging in Iran
Many of Iran's hangings are carried out in public
A murderer in south-west Iran has won a temporary reprieve from execution after confessing to another crime moments before he was due to be hanged.

Mahmud Kazeminia was taken down from the gallows when he admitted to killing a driver and hiding the body.

He will be subjected to further investigation by the authorities in Dezful in Khuzestan Province, the Iranian news agency Irna reported.

The confession came after a judge asked the killer to make his last testament.

He said that, after killing taxi driver Rahman Nowruzimanesh, he had put the body in the boot of the vehicle and abandoned it somewhere, Irna reported.

The Dezful Justice Department said the execution on Monday had to be postponed in order to shed light on the murder.

He originally faced the death penalty for the crime under Iran's Islamic legal system of being a "corrupter of the earth" for a string of armed robberies and at least one killing on a desert road in near Dezful.

Murder, armed robbery, rape, abandoning religious faith and large-scale drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran.

Many executions take place by public hanging.

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