Sat, 24 Aug 2019

Former Tehran Mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi, recently sentenced to death over the killing of his wife, has had his life spared by her family.

In a post shared on Instagram on August 14, Mitra Ostad's brother said that his father, his mother, and his sister's son 'forgive' Najafi and are no longer appealing for the Islamic law of retribution to be applied -- a so-called 'eye-for-an-eye' form of punishment that would have seen the death penalty applied.

Masood Ostad also wrote that the family hopes the ex-mayor 'in his remaining years...engages in cleansing himself.'

Najafi, 67, was sentenced to death last month after being convicted of murdering his wife earlier this year. He also received a two-year jail sentence for possessing an illegal firearm.

It was not immediately clear if he will be forced to serve time in prison for the murder.

Najafi married Ostad without divorcing his first wife. Polygamy is legal under Islamic laws enforced in the country.

She was found dead at their home in northwestern Tehran on May 28.

Officials said Najafi had surrendered to authorities and confessed to killing her over family issues.

The high-profile case had received extensive media coverage in Iran, where gun violence is rare, especially among the political and economic elite.

Najafi resigned as mayor last year after coming under criticism by hard-liners for attending a ceremony at which young girls were dancing. He cited health reasons for his resignation.

Najafi has also served as one of the country's vice presidents.

With reporting by AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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