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Romania: Autopsy indicates fugitive ex-Iranian judge died of impact from fall

Forensic medicine staff carry a body bag, allegedly containing the remains of fugitive ex-Iranian judge Gholamreza Mansouri, outside a hotel in downtown Bucharest, Romania, June 19, 2020. (Via Reuters)

Romania says autopsy findings indicate that the fugitive former Iranian judge, whose body was found at a hotel in Bucharest last week, died of the impact from a fall.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Bucharest’s prosecuting unit said based on preliminary conclusions from the forensic autopsy, Gholamreza Mansouri's death was “caused by traumatic injuries incompatible with life, produced by hitting a hard surface."

The body of the 52-year-old judge was found at Bucharest's Duke hotel on Friday.  

Mansouri, who was accused of taking a 500,000-euro bribe, was a co-defendant in a major financial corruption trial currently underway in Iran that also involves former deputy head of the Judiciary Akbar Tabari, among others.

Iranian authorities had issued an alert for Mansouri’s arrest through the International Criminal Police Organization, known as Interpol, and requested his extradition to Iran.

The ex-judge was arrested in Romania, but later released from custody and put under police watch.

A court in Bucharest had given the Islamic Republic until July 10 to file the extradition documents.

According to the Romanian police, hotel staff found the guest dead in the lobby who appeared to have fallen from a higher floor from inside the building’s circular staircase.

The judge in charge of the case has questioned hotel staff and permitted the examination of video surveillance tapes.

Tehran has asked Bucharest to accelerate the probe into the incident while Iran's international police has requested for authorization to send a fact-finding mission to Romania.

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