Amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts

Amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts

26 November 2005

Number 14/84/56133, 27 November 2005

Honorable Editor of the Official Newspaper of the Islamic Republic of Iran

A copy of the Amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts, which is supported by the Supreme Leader, His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei (May his lengthy shadow lengthen!), is presented for publication in your newspaper.

Special Clerical Prosecutor, Mohammad Salimi

Number 14/84/55807 19 October 2005

To the blessed presence the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution

His Eminence Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (May his lengthy shadow lengthen!)

Peace be upon you,

With respect, the draft amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts which, after expert research have been prepared and organized, are ready to be submitted. Hopefully they will be approved and ratified by Your Lofty Eminence.

Special Clerical Prosecutor, Mohammad Salimi

Number 1/9599

His Eminence, Proof of Islam and the Muslims Mohammad Salimi

Special Clerical Prosecutor,

Peace be upon you,

Letter number 14/84/55807, dated 19 October 2005 and sent by Your Eminence, including the Amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts reached the presence of the Supreme Leader (May his lengthy shadow lengthen!). He wrote:

“In His lofty name

“This text meets with approval. You will succeed, God willing.”

The letter, along with a photograph of His Eminence’s blessed signature, has been presented as appropriate.


Amendments to the Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts

The Bylaws for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts have been amended by changing some articles and by appending articles and notes to them as follows:

1. The following note is appended to Article 2:

Note: In implementing the goals and duties outlined in Articles 1 and 2, the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Office can take action through the theological centers, the Islamic Propaganda Organization, the Center for Mosque Affairs, and other institutions connected to clerical affairs. The above institutions are obliged to cooperate with the Special Prosecutor of the Clergy in the aforementioned cases.

2. Article 5 is amended as follows:

a. The post of Deputy Prosecutor has been eliminated.

b. The Assistant for the Provinces has been added to a number of assistants.

c. The Political Assistant has been changed into the Assistant for Review and Investigation.

3. Article 6 is amended as follows:

The Assistant for Research and Operations is changed to the Assistant for Research and Administrative Affairs.

4. Article 7 is amended as follows and the following note is appended to it:

The expression, “With their approval” is added after the word “province.”

Note: In case it is necessary to transfer the above-mentioned judges without their approval, the issue must have been reviewed and agreed upon previously in a meeting including the appointed prosecutor, his judicial assistant, and the chief of the First District of the Special Clerical Court.

5. Article 9 is amended as follows:

Article 9: The Special Clerical Prosecutor in the cities and the judicial branches are set up as follows:

1. Tehran: The provinces of Tehran and Semnan.

2. Qom: The Central province and the province of Qom and Kashan.

3. Mashhad: The provinces of Khorasan Razavi, Khorasan Shomali, and Khorasan Jonubi, and Sistan and Baluchestan.

4. Esfahan: The provinces of Esfahan (except for Kashan), Yazd, and Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari.

5. Shiraz: The provinces of Fars, Bushehr, and Kohkiluyeh va Boyer Ahmad.

6. Tabriz: The provinces of Eastern Azerbaijan Sharghi, Western Azerbaijan, Ardebil, and Zanjan.

7. Sari: The provinces of Golestan and Mazanderan.

8. Ahvaz: The provinces of Khuzistan and Luristan.

9. Kerman: The provinces of Kerman and Hormozgan.

10. Hamedan: The provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Hamedan, and Ilam.

11. Rasht: The provinces of Gilan and Qazvin.

6. Article 11 is deleted.

7. Article 13 is amended as follows:

1. The word ”public” is removed from section (a) of the article.

2. Note 3 is appended to the Article as follows:

Note 3: The entirety of cases involving charges against members of the Expediency Council, the Guardian Council, the Representatives of the Majlis, the ministers and assistants of these figures, the assistants and advisors of the Presidents of the three branches of government (executive, legal, and judicial), ambassadors, the prosecutor and president of the Government Accounting Office, officials in the judiciary branch, governors, commanders and the public crimes of the military and police officers from the rank of colonel and above and the directors of intelligence in the provinces, should one of the aforementioned be clerics, must be brought before the Special Clerical Prosecutor and Court. In addition, all charges against members of the Assembly of Experts and all of the Friday Imams shall be addressed in the Special Clerical Court and Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran.

8. Article 23 will be amended as follows:

Regarding crimes that have been witnessed, officers are required immediately to take the necessary steps to protect the tools, equipment, traces, evidence, and indications of the crime; prevent the accused from escaping or interfering in their work; carry out the initial investigation; and notify the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office as soon as possible.

9. Article 24 is deleted.

10. The passage below is added under Article 25:

“While these individuals are performing their mission, they are considered judiciary officers.”

11. Article 28 is amended as follows:

The passage ”Under prosecution by the Special Prosecutor’s Office” is changed to “under legal prosecution.”

12. Article 32 is amended as follows and a Note is added to it:

The body of Article 32 up to the word ”except for judges” is deleted and replaced by ”Especially the prosecution of people with legal credentials.”

Note: Since the goal of the lawmaker in suspending a judge prior to the investigation of the charges is to protect the prestige of the judge, should the accused be so inclined and make a written request to have his case investigated, the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Office and Court can take steps to investigate the case without enforcing a suspension.

13. Article 34 is amended as follows:

Article 34: All issued decisions, except for the cases below, are made permanent by the approval of the Prosecutor-General.

a. A temporary prison sentence, which, in the event of an objection to a charge, was raised before the legal deadline, will be reviewed by the Special Clerical Prosecutor-General or his Legal Assistant on a priority basis. If the objection to the charge is found to be accurate, the temporary prison sentence will be reversed, and the case will be transferred to the Sentencing Branch for obtaining an appropriate decision.

b. An objection by the plaintiff or private claimant against an order forbidding or suspending prosecution before the legal deadline is worth being addressed by the Special Clerical Court.

14. Article 42 is amended as follows:

Article 42: The court‘s judgments must be logical and documented in the laws passed and the shariat’s values.

15. Article 43 is amended as follows and one note is appended to it:

Article 43: The court will sentence criminals who, by having committed a crime, have destroyed the clergy’s dignity and prestige or who are unqualified to wear clerical garb, to a ban on wearing clerical garb (either permanently or temporarily).

Note: Those who violate the court’s order not to wear clerical garb will be sentenced by the Special Clerical Court to Islamic chastisement.

16. The former Article 44 has been deleted and replaced by the following:

Article 44: The jury’s members in the Special Clerical Court will number fourteen. It shall consist of the Special Clerical Prosecutor-General, the Chair of the First District Court, the President of the Islamic Propaganda Organization, a representative from the National Policy Council of Friday Imams, a representative from the Supreme Council of the Theological Seminary, and several clerics employed in educational, seminarian, university, judicial, administrative, and other related jobs, to a term of two years. The jury’s sentences will be carried out by the Chair of the First District Court.

17. The Note below is appended to Article 45:

Note: Twenty percent of the entire budget approved for the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s office will be excluded from the law of accounts.

18. The following note is appended to Article 46:

Note: The post of the Judiciary and the assignment of the group of prosecutors and the Special Clerical Court will occur according to the suggestion of the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Office, and with the approval of the Chief of the Judiciary.

19. The following articles will be appended to the bylaws:

Article 48: The judgments of the Special Clerical Courts may be objected to by the accused or the complainant or their deputies. In the absence of an appeal before the legal deadline, the judgment is made permanent.

Note 1. Should the Special Clerical Prosecutor-General consider the permanent or non-permanent judgments of the Special Clerical Court to be against secular law or the sharia in the case of an issued opinion, he will necessarily suspend the judgment and send the case to the court for reconsideration.

Note 2. If the executive prosecutor decides that a judgment issued fails to meet the necessary criteria, he shall first remind the judge who issued it of his objection to the judgment. If the judge does not agree, the documents shall be transmitted to the appointed prosecutor’s office along with [the executive prosecutor’s] reasoned views, and the appointed prosecutor’s office will take action according to Note 1.

Note 3. If, subsequent to the objection of either the defendant or the plaintiff, or the admonition of either the Special Clerical Prosecutor’s Office or the presiding prosecutor of the case, the judge of the Special Court for the Clergy realizes his/her mistake in the judgment issued and the case is found to be in accordance with section (b) of Article 49, the judge will issue a corrective judgment. Otherwise, following the cancellation of the erroneous judgment, the case will be sent to the Office of the Special Clerical Courts to assign it to another judicial branch for addressing.

Article 49: The Special Clerical Review Court is the authority for investigating objections. After the case arrives and is investigated, it will act as follows:

Should it find the judgment correct and in line with the criteria of sharia and secular law, it will reaffirm the judgment.

Should the basis of the decision be correct but with errors in details, such as in calculating the sentence or in documentation, etc., a judgment for revision will be produced.

Should the judgment contain errors resulting from a lack of research, the Review Court will specify the subjects that lack research and reverse the judgment issued and return the case to the original court to have the errors removed. The aforementioned court district is obligated to issue an appropriate judgment after correcting the errors.

Should the judgment contain fundamental errors, it will be invalidated, the Review Court will investigate and write a decision itself, and the decision produced by the Review Court judge will be final.

Article 50: Each branch of the Special Clerical Review Court consists of a chair and two counselors, it will make decisions according to majority vote, and the Special Clerical Chief Justice, appointed by the Supreme Leader, will also be the Chief of the First District of the Special Clerical Review Court. The number of districts and judges, and the types of cases for the Special Clerical Review Court, will be based on these bylaws.

Article 51: The defendant or his legal representative and the Special Clerical Prosecutor-General, in accordance with all relevant laws, are authorized to request a judicial investigation concerning the final judgments of the Special Clerical Courts. The authority for investigating demands of a return to judicial investigation will be the Special Clerical Review Court. The appointed prosecutor or his representative can be present at investigative meetings and can also declare their opinions on the matter.

Article 52: Aside from the subjects that have been stipulated in this bylaw, the duties and powers of the judges of the public prosecutor and the court, as the case may be, shall be in accordance with the general regulations of the bylaws for criminal public prosecutors.