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Iran: Judge Hassan Tardast a Merciless Killer

Hassan Tardast, one of the cruelest judges in Iran who has become infamous for his ‘peace of mind’ in executing people.
Hassan Tardast, one of the cruelest judges in Iran who has become infamous for his ‘peace of mind’ in executing people.

Who is Judge Hassan Tardast? He is responsible for the execution of 800 people, including Reyhaneh Jabbari and Behnoud Shojaei.

Judge Hassan Tardast held various positions in Iran’s judiciary, including an assistant judge, investigator, and presiding judge. He has been the head of Branch 74 of the Criminal Court for six years since 2008.

In an interview with Etemad newspaper in 2012, he said that he had been a judge in premeditated murder cases for many years. During this period, he had issued more than a thousand death sentences, of which 800 have been carried out.

He traveled to Germany last year. His trip came to the attention of the Iranians in exile, and they demanded his arrest and trial.

In an interview, Tardast, who has been head of the branch in Tehran’s criminal court for about six years, said:

“For most of my years as a judge, I was a special judge for murder cases. In the last embankment, like Mr. Avaei, the esteemed Chief Justice of Tehran Province, who is one of the few senior managers who are more seriously concerned with the implementation of law and justice, have been kind to me for many years, I worked in the Criminal Court of Tehran Province.”

The Avaei, who according to Tardast has serious concern for law enforcement, is none other than Alireza Avaei, who was a member of the death committee in the Unesco prison in Dezful during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. At the beginning of the revolution, Hassan Tardast was the cultural director of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Tehran’s 12th district. At the same time, he taught Arabic in high schools and vocational schools in Tehran’s 11th district.

In 1985, after entering the judiciary with the help of ‘Mohammad Hadi Marvi’, he was a prosecutor and an investigator in Masjed-e-Soleiman city in Khuzestan province until 1991. He later became the head of the Saveh Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, and he has been the head of Branch 74 of the Tehran Criminal Court since 2008 with the ruling of Alireza Avaei.

Tardast became a lawyer after retirement. The case of Hassan Heshmatian and the murder of Leila Fathi were an example of his legal activities during his tenure as a lawyer. He is also one of 20 attorneys approved for special security cases during the previous presidency of the judiciary. His connections to security agencies and the issuance of death sentences in sensitive cases are said to have been one of the reasons for his promotion in the regime’s judiciary.

Hassan Tardast has conducted more than 1,000 lawsuits, up to 20% of which have resulted in acquittal. This means the death sentence of nearly 800 people has been implemented on the orders of this so-called judge.

The case of Reyhaneh Jabbari and Behnoud Shojaei was among the most controversial cases in which Hassan Tardast issued a death sentence.

In the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari, Tardast, in collaboration with Investigator Shamloo and prosecutor Qassem Shabani, issued a verdict that led to the execution of this woman on October 25, 2014. Morteza Abdul Ali Sarbandi was a former employee of the Ministry of Intelligence and was engaged in economic activity after leaving this institution. He tried to rape the 19-year-old woman by dragging Reyhaneh Jabbari to an apartment. Reyhaneh Jabbari had stated that she had killed her attacker to defend herself against rape.

In response to her defense, this so-called judge once said to Rayhaneh: “You should have allowed him to rape you, and then you would have complained.”

The other young man who has become a victim to this cruelly judged was ‘Behnoud Shojaei’. Regarding this case, Tardast said that he had the role of advisor to give the final opinion in his case. However, the lawyer of the young man’s case has explicitly denied this.

Regarding the role of Judge Tardast in executing Behnoud’s death sentence, Mohammad Mostafaei told him:

“In Behnoud Shojaei’s case, consent was obtained. But you (Tardast) rejected my request to suspend the death sentence and preferred the execution. Your pen was too sharp and justifying condemning the people. You stood up all night to justify the execution of a person. You did it with patience and meditation. You have executed hundreds of people in this way.”