France: Iran says no decision on stoning case woman
France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki told him that no decision has been reached on the fate of a woman sentenced to be stoned to death.
Kouchner said he had called Mottaki on Wednesday after human rights groups warned that 43-year-old mother-of-two and convicted adulterer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was facing imminent execution at Tabriz prison in western Iran.
"Manouchehr Mottaki told me that the final verdict in the Sakineh Ashtiani case has not been announced by the Iranian judiciary and that news about her possible execution was not based on reality," Kouchner said in a statement.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani was sentenced to death by two different courts in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz in separate trials in 2006.
The first death sentence, of death by hanging, was imposed for her alleged involvement in the murder of her husband, but was commuted to a 10-year jail term by an appeals court in 2007.
But the second sentence, of death by stoning, was on a charge of adultery levelled over several relationships, notably with the man convicted of her husband's murder. This was upheld by another appeals court the same year.
Mohammadi-Ashtiani's case raised further international controversy when her adult son Sajjad Qaderzadeh and lawyer were arrested last month in Iran, along with two German nationals, who were reportedly interviewing the son.
Kouchner said he has also told Mottaki that the international community could not understand why the son and the lawyer had been detained.
© 2010 AFP