ORDINANCE FOR THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICES AND COURTS OF THE CLERGY
Number 2581/1 Mordad 15, 1369 (6/8/1990)
His Excellence Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mr. Mohammadi Rayshahri
Honorable Prosecutor of the Special Courts of the Clergy,
With peace and greetings, a copy of the law founding the Special Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts of the Clergy and the number of qualifications and the ordinance defining the procedures associated with them, is attached for taking action. It has earned the approval of the Supreme Leader:
“In the Name of God
The Articles marked below for the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Courts of the Clergy are met with approval. May God ensure you will always be outstanding and support you.
Mordad 14, 1369 (5/8/1990)”
The Office of the Supreme Leader – Mohammadi-Golpayegani
Article 1. To prevent the influence of devious and criminal individuals in the theological seminaries, to protect the dignity of the clergy, and to convict clergy who do criminal acts, the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Courts of the Clergy are founded under the high supervision of the Supreme Leader with the duties, responsibilities, and foundations outlined below.
Article 2. The duties of the Special Prosecutor’s office and Courts of the Clergy are the following:
Alef. The necessary actions for preventing violating occurrences and crimes within the limits of judicial issues.
Beh. Guidance for actions against these laws.
Jim. Addressing the crimes of the clergy and cases in an effective way, in line with the goals of this prosecutor’s office.
Alef. Dadsara (Prosecutor’s Office)
Footnote: In implementing the duties outlined in Articles 1 and 2, the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy can act through theological centers, the Islamic Propaganda Institute, the Center for Mosque Affairs, and other institutions related to clerical affairs. These institutions are obligated to cooperate with the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy in implementing the duties outlined in the aforementioned articles.
Article 3. The Special Prosecutor of the Clergy is appointed by the Supreme Leader.
Article 4. The responsibilities, administration, and supervision of all of the prosecutor’s offices will fall under the Appointed Prosecutor’s responsibility.
Article 5. The central prosecution (the Appointed Prosecutor) has a legal assistant, an assistant for investigation and prevention, a financial administration assistant, a provincial affairs assistant, a prosecutor’s office, and an office for retention and hiring. The Appointed Prosecutor will define each of these position’s duties. *
Article 6. Each prosecutor’s office consists of: the prosecutor, an assistant for guidance, research, and implementation affairs, an administrative and financial director, and the necessary number of paralegals and office cadre. *
Article 7. The Appointed Prosecutor will be in charge of the removal and appointment of the prosecutors and paralegals of the Special Prosecutor’s Offices in the provinces, with the consent of the appointed individuals.
Footnote. In case it becomes necessary to replace the above mentioned judges without their consent, the decision must have been reviewed and agreed upon in a previous meeting consisting of the Appointed Prosecutor, his judicial assistant, and the Chief of the First Branch of the Special Courts of the Clergy.
Article 8. The assistants of the prosecutor’s offices are chosen via nomination by the prosecutor of each prosecutor’s office, pending the approval of the Appointed Prosecutor.
Article 9. The Special Prosecutor’s Offices of the Clergy in the cities and the judicial districts are based upon the following text:
1. Tehran: the provinces of Tehran and Semnan.
2. Qom: the Markazi (central) province, the province of Qom, and the city of Kashan.
3. Mashhad: The provinces of Khorasan Razavi, Khorasan Shomali, Khorasan Jonoobi, and Sistan va Baluchestan.
4. Esfahan: The province of Esfahan (except for Kashan), Yazd, and Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari.
5. Shiraz: The provinces of Fars, Bushehr, and Kohgiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad.
6. Tabriz: The provinces of Azerbaijan Sharghi, Azerbaijan Gharbi, Ardabil, and Zanjan.
7. Sari: The provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran.
8. Ahvaz: The provinces of Khuzestan and Lorestan.
9. Kerman: The provinces of Kerman and Hormozgan.
10. Hamadan: the provinces of Kermanshah, Kordestan, Hamadan, and Ilam.
11. Rasht: The provinces of Gilan and Qazvin.
Beh – Dadgah (The Court)
Article 10. The Chair of the First District of the Special Court of the Clergy is appointed by the Supreme Leader.
Article 11. Has been nullified.*
Article 12. Office employees of the Court are appointed in coordination with the Sharia’-based Governor of the First District of the Special Court of the Clergy. (Their qualifications)
Article 13. The Special Prosecutor’s offices and Courts of the Clergy are qualified to address the following subjects:
Alef. All crimes committed by clerics.*
Beh. All actions against the dignity of the clergy.
Jim. All local disputes affecting public security, given that at least one side of the dispute is a cleric.
Dal. All of the affairs which are assigned by the Supreme Leader.
Footnote 1. In subjects where the Special Prosecutor’s Office delegates a case to the relevant judicial authorities, the aforementioned authorities are obligated to address the case.
Footnote 2. Regarding section “Dal,” the addressing occurs through coordination with the relevant apparatuses.
Footnote 3. The Special Court and Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy in Tehran will address all charges against the following if they are clerics: members of the Expediency Discernment Council, the Guardian Council, Majles, Cabinet Ministers and their assistants, assistants and advisors of the Presidents of the three branches of power, Ambassadors, the investigators and Chair of the Government Accounting Office, holders of legal degrees, provincial governors, city governors, as well as general crimes by police or security forces officers of the rank Brigadier General [Sartip] and above, and Directors of Intelligence for the provinces. In addition, all of the charges against Representatives in the Assembly of Experts and Friday Prayer Imams will be addressed in the Special Court and Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy.
Article 14. Legal and civil claims against the clergy will be addressed pursuant to the laws of legal and civil courts, except specific subjects that are considered necessary (in the view of the Appointed Prosecutor) to be reformed in the Special Court. In that case, the courts and prosecutor’s offices are obligated to transfer the case with the request of the Special Court and Special Prosecutor’s office of the Clergy.
Article 15. Other prosecutor’s offices in cases where those offices have had their clerical qualifications suspended, and they no longer have the right to enter, investigate, or prosecute cases, unless they have permission from the relevant Special Prosecutor of the local judicial district.
Article 16. “Cleric” refers to any person that wears clerical attire or who works in education at a theological seminary or, if he has another occupation, customarily is considered a clergyman.
Article 17. Disagreements between judges and employees of the Special Court and Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy that occur during or because of judicial services, will be directly addressed according to the viewpoint of the Appointed Prosecutor and the Chair of the First District of the Court.
The Code of Justice
Article 18. Any action or consequences of an action that, according to the subject laws or the ruling of Sharia’, deserves punishment or requires re-education and security measures, is considered a crime.
Footnote. Any deeds that, customarily, inflict damage upon the dignity of the clergy or the Islamic Revolution, are considered crimes if committed by a cleric.
Article 19. Crimes have three considerations:
1. Divine respect: from the viewpoint that they constitute an offense against divine rules and regulations.
2. Public respect: From the viewpoint that they disrupt order and public security and damage the dignity of society and the clergy.
3. Private respect: From the viewpoint that they cause material or intellectual property damage to an individual or individuals, either as legal entities or real persons.
Article 20. The prosecution of individuals accused of crimes against divinity, in accordance with the criteria of Sharia’, and individuals accused of crimes against the people, subject to a private individual’s complaint, and individuals accused of crimes against public property, happens according to the expediency of the prosecutor.
Article 21. Bailiffs of justice, according their duty, are obligated to cooperate with the Special Prosecutor’s Office.
Article 22. Bailiffs are required to, as soon as they learn of crimes or misdemeanor occurrences qualified for addressing by the Special Prosecutor’s Office, regularly give reports to the Special Prosecutor’s Office, and refrain from taking any type of action without permission.
Article 23. For witnessed crimes, bailiffs are obligated to take the necessary steps to record or preserve the means, instruments, byproducts, signs, and possible motives for the crime, and prevent the escape of the suspect, and/or collaborate to conduct an initial investigation, and as soon as possible, inform the Prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy.*
Article 24. Has been nullified.*
Article 25. The Prosecutor’s Office can employ individuals independently for doing the investigation and implementing the verdict of the prosecutor’s office and court. These individuals are under the auhtority of the bailiffs while carrying out their official responsibilities.*
RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITIES OF THE PROSECUTORS OF THE PROVINCES
Article 26. The Prosecutor of the Provinces, who assumes the role of the Appointed Prosecutor in cases of emergency, assumes responsibility for all judicial and administrative matters including the following:
Alef. Prosecution of the accused
Beh. Issuing arrest and inspection/search warrants
Jim. Assigning cases to the districts of the Prosecutor’s Offices, and supervision of the progress of following up on claims, and expressing their viewpoints about all appointments.
Dal. Issuing convictions
Heh. Implementing the verdicts of the court
Vav. Serving notices of suspension of prosecution in the cases of minor offenses or offenses against dignity [as opposed to material offenses].
Footnote 1. The Prosecutor’s Office for the Provinces is obligated to implement the judicial and administrative orders issued by the Apponted Prosecutor.
Footnote 2. In important affairs, the Prosecutor of the Provinces is obligated to inform the Appointed Prosecutor of the subject before taking action to arrest someone, summon someone to court, or implement the verdict of a court.
Footnote 3. Implementation of the duties of section Beh and Vav above occur only under the authority of the Prosecutor and, in his absence, his immediate replacement.
Article 27. In the absence of the Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office, one of the legal assistants, chosen by the approval of the Prosecutor, will implement his duties.
Article 28. The Special Prosecutor and his paralegals can do the necessary legal investigations to discover a crime, and all government organs, institutions, and establishments, as well as legal and private individuals, are obligated to grant access to Prosecutor’s Office for all the documentation and evidence needed. People who do not bring to action the necessary cooperation will suffer legal prosecution under the charge of failing to carry out an order from a legal official.*
Article 29. To expand the legal domain of the Special Prosecutor’s Offices, in addition to being able to delegate cases to other Special Prosecutor’s Offices, specifically crimes that occur outside of that Prosecutor’s Office’s district, Special Prosecutor’s Offices of the Clergy can delegate cases to the Public Prosecutor’s Office or Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of that county, and those Prosecutor’s Offices are required to comply with the Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy’s request.
Article 30. The referral of a legal case from one judicial district to another judicial district will occur only under the authority of the Appointed Prosecutor.
Article 31. Charges against people who cooperated with or people connected to an accused cleric will be addressed in the in the Special Court and Special Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy.
Article 32. For criminal prosecution of people with judicial credentials, except for judges for whom the Special Prosecutor’s Office is required to request their suspension beforehand, the Judges’ Regulatory Prosecutor’s Office and Court are required to write their opinion on the subject within 20 days — and if this does not occur, or in the case of an emergency (according to the view of the Appointed Prosecutor) legal action will be taken and the Chief of Judiciary will be advised of the matter.
Footnote. To the extent that the lawmaker, in suspending a judge before he is able to address some charges, has the goal of protecting the dignity of the judge and all judges, and given that the accused agrees and requests addressing of the case in writing, the Special Court and Prosecutor’s Office of the Clergy can — without suspending the judge — take steps to address the case.
Article 33. In petty crimes, after the completion of the initial investigation, or if an investigation is not necessary, the Prosecutor can immediately bring up his letter of criminal charges in the court, and the court will issue a judgment.
Article 34. All sentences issued are made permanent following the agreement of the Prosecutor, except for the following subjects.
Alef. Temporary imprisonment sentences- in the case of objection by the accused before the legal deadline, the Special Prosecutor-General of the Clergy or his legal deputy can evaluate the objection out of turn/immediately, and if the objection is ruled to be expedient, they can reverse the temporary arrest sentence and send it back to the issuing court district for securing a more appropriate sentence.
Beh. A sentence prohibiting prosecution or suspending prosecution, in the case of an objection by the plaintiff or private defendant within the legal deadline, is addressable by the Special Court of the Clergy.
Article 35. In the following subjects, a prison sentence is issued mandatorily:
1. There is a concern the accused may flee
2. There is a concern about collusion or hiding of the evidence of a crime
3. Important cases including: Crimes against the Revolution, illegal drugs, fraud, bribery, first-degree murder and similar crimes
4. Subjects in which letting the accused be free would cause the spread of the crime: such as destroying the dignity of the System and/or the clergy.
Article 36. Sentences issued must correspond to the type of the crime and the reasons behind the crime and the character of the accused.
Article 37. An accused that has been freed because of bail, collateral, or payment of requirements, if he does not make himself present when summoned without a legitimate excuse, the payment of requirements is stored by the order of the prosecutor, and the collateral-payer or his sponsor is warned that within 20 days the accused must surrender. If he does not surrender himself, the bail payment or the collateral document will be stored on the order of the prosecutor.
Article 38. The prosecutor’s office can summon the presence of witnesses or informed people, and in the case of their refusal to appear, they can be invited on the order of the prosecutor himself.
AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SPECIAL COURT OF THE CLERGY
Article 39. The Special Court of the Clergy addresses crimes according to the qualifications of the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court of the Clergy, and if the case has been transferred to the Special Court by the Special Prosecutor’s Office alongside an arrest warrant.
Footnote. If, during the addressing of a case, the Court becomes aware of new crimes, it is authorized to address and issue a verdict on those crimes.
Article 40. Assigning a case to a district of the Court and the implementation of coordination between them and supervision of the progress of affairs, will be the responsibility of the Sharia’-based Ruler of the First District (chief of the judicial district).
Article 41. In the case of a difference of opinion between the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court regarding which should address a given case, the case and the arguments for both sides are transferred to the Administration of the First Judicial District for finding a solution, and his/her viewpoint must be followed.
Article 42. The orders of the Court must be logical and well-evidenced according to the relevant laws and the criteria of Sharia’. *
Footnote. On exceptional subjects, and subjects for which Sharia’ and Iranian law have not specified punishments, the Judge can take action to issue a sentence based on his own viewpoint, within reason.
Article 43. The Court can sentence criminals who, by the commissioning of a crime, have caused damage to the dignity and respect of the clergy, or individuals who wear clerical clothing without qualifications, to a ban (either permanent or temporary) on wearing clerical clothing.
Footnote. People who violate an order of the Court on not wearing clerical clothing can be suspended from clerical status on the order of the Special Court of the clergy.
Article 44. The Jury of the Special Court of the Clergy will have fourteen members and be composed of the Special Prosecutor-General of the Clergy, the Chair of the First Judicial District, the President of the Islamic Propaganda Organization, a representative of the Policy-makers for the Friday Prayer leaders of the country, a representative from the High Council for Qom Theological Seminary, and from amongst clerics employed in educational, theological, University-related, judicial, administrative, and other fields, elected for two-year terms, and the sentences of the Jury will be issued by the Chair of the First Judicial District. *
Footnote 1. In the first paragraph of the above Article, the judge himself will rescind the verdict and transfer the case to the Chair of the First Judicial District for re-assigning to another District.
Footnote 2. If the prosecutor who executes the verdict, believes the vote arrived at by the Jury fails to meet the necessary criteria, he is required to issue his objection in writing to the judge who issues the verdict. If there the two cannot find agreement, the implementation of the verdict is suspended, and the case is transmitted to the Appointed Prosecutor alongside a report detailing each side’s reasoning. If the Appointed Prosecutor agrees to the objection, the verdict is rescinded and the case is transferred to the First Judicial District for re-assigning to a new judge. If the Appointed Prosecutor agrees to the initial verdict and the disagreement continues, the case will follow the opinion of the Chair of the First Judicial District.
Article 45. All of the operating costs of the Special Prosecution of the Clergy as an independent institution fall under a dedicated and individually forecasted line of the budget.
Footnote 1. Twenty percent of the entire approved budget for the Special Prosecution of the Clergy will be calculated outside of the framework of the law.
Article 46. The Judiciary Branch will secure a cadre of judges for the Special Prosecution of the Clergy.
Footnote 1. The appointment of judges and the specification of the group of judges in the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court of the Clergy will occur based on the proposals of the Special Prosecutor of the Clergy with the approval of the Chief of Judiciary. The Judicial communiqué specifying the judges will be duly issued by the Chief of Judiciary after the approval of the suggestion of the Appointed Prosecutor or the Chair of the First Judicial Branch, but the judicial districts and their jurisdiction will be decided by the Appointed Prosecutor or the Chair of the First Judicial District. The salary and benefits of the judges employed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court of the Clergy will be distributed by the financial center of the Judiciary.
Article 47. Appointments and transfers of judges to the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court of the Clergy, who are also employed as Justices in the Judiciary branch, are nominated by the Appointed Prosecutor and the Chair of the First Judicial District in coordination.
Article 48. The defendant, the plaintiff, or their legal representatives can issue an objection to the verdicts of the Special Court of the Clergy. If there is no objection issued by the legal deadline, however, the verdict becomes permanent.
Footnote 1. If the Special Prosecutor-General of the Clergy rules permanent or non-permanent verdicts of the Special Court of the Clergy to be against Sharia’ or Iranian law, in relation to verdicts for which an objection has been issued, he must suspend the verdict and transfer the case to the Court of Revision.
Footnote 2. If the executive Prosecutor rules that the issued verdict fails to meet the necessary criteria, he immediately will verbally notify the issuing judge of his objection. If the issuing judge refuses to rectify the verdict, the case is transferred to the Appointed Prosecutor alongside a document of each side’s reasoning, and the Appointed Prosecutor will take action based on Footnote 1.
Footnote 3. If the judge of the Special Court of the Clergy realizes his mistake in an issued verdict, following the objection of the defendant or the plaintiff and/or the admonition of the judge by the Special Prosecutor-General of the Clergy or the standing prosecutor, and given that the case is in accordance with paragraph B of Article 49, the judge will issue a Vote of Revision. If this does not occur following the rescinding of a verdict, the case is sent to the Special Courts of the Clergy for re-assignment to another judicial district.
Article 49. The Special Court of Revision of the Clergy is the source of addressing objections. Objections are addressed following their submission according to the following text:
Alef. If the Court of Revision rules that the verdict is correct and compliant to the criteria of Sharia’ and Iranian law, the verdict will persist.
Beh. If the basis of the verdict was correct, but simultaneously contained erroneous details in the calculation of charges, or in article citations, or in examples provided, the Court will issue a Vote of Revision.
Jim. If the issued verdict contains errors that indicate a lack of research, the Court of Revision will identify the portions of the verdict that will be rescinded, and will transfer the case to the issuing Court for solving the problems. The aforementioned judicial district is required to issue an appropriate verdict after solving the problems therein.
Dal. If the issued verdict contains fundamental errors, the Court will rescind the verdict, address the case itself, and compose a new verdict. Any opinion issued by the Judge of the Court of Revision is automatically permanent.
Article 50. Every district of the Special Court of Revision of the Clergy consists of one President and two advisors and makes decisions based on a majority vote. The Chair of the Special Courts of the Clergy, who is appointed by the Supreme Leader, is also the Chair of the First District of the Court of Revision. The determination of the number of Districts, the judges appointed to them, and the assignment of cases to those judges, will be based on this Code.
Article 51. The defendant or his legal representative and the Special Prosecutor-General of the Clergy, in accordance with the relevant laws, are allowed to request a retrial, in particular regarding permanent verdicts of the Special Courts of the Clergy. The Special Court of Revision of the Clergy is the source of addressing requests for retrials and decision-making related to retrials. The Appointed Prosecutor or his representative be present at meetings for addressing such requests, and express their opinions on the issue.
Article 52. Aside from the subjects explained in this law, the authorities and duties of the judges of the Special Prosecutor’s Office and Court are defined according to the general regulations of the Code for Criminal Prosecution.