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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 15:34 GMT
Kazemi killing acquittal upheld
File photograph of Zahra Kazemi
Kazemi died in custody in Tehran in July 2003
Iran's appeals court has upheld its acquittal of an intelligence agent accused of the murder of a journalist, the agent's lawyer said.

Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi's lawyer said a new investigation was ordered because of some "shortcomings" in the investigation and witness questioning.

Zahra Kazemi, who held Canadian and Iranian nationality, was beaten to death in custody in Iran in 2003.

The case has severely strained relations between Canada and Iran.

Fatal blow

Wednesday's court verdict comes after a lengthy appeals process.

Mr Ahmadi's lawyer, Ghasem Sharbani, told reporters in Tehran that a new investigation was ordered because "the witnesses have not been rightly interrogated and because of the shortcomings in the investigation".

"This verdict orders that the case be sent back to the General and Revolutionary court," Mr Sharbani said.

Zahra Kazemi was arrested two years ago for taking photographs outside Tehran's main jail, and later died of a blow to the head in custody.

Mr Ahmadi - who was accused of giving Kazemi the fatal blow - was acquitted last year.

Iran's judiciary has also said Kazemi died after hitting her head during a fainting fit.

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