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Khatami's brother summoned by press court

TEHRAN, Iran, March 30, 2000 (AFP) - Mohammad-Reza Khatami, brother of the Iranian president and publisher of the reformist daily Mosharekat (Participation), was summoned Thursday to appear before the country's press court, IRNA reported.

Khatami has been named as a defendant in a "private defamation and libel suit," and is to stand trial "next week, perhaps later next month," the official news agency said without further comment.

Presiding Judge Said Mortazavi has not revealed the exact nature of the charges, added IRNA.

Khatami launched the daily Mosharekat in January as the organ of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) which he heads and which scored a sweeping victory in last month's parliamentary elections.

Iran's conservative-dominated courts closed down five reformist and moderate dailies last year and jailed journalists and publishers in an ultimately futile attempt to retain the conservative grip on parliament.

Khatami's brother charged with libel

TEHRAN, Iran, April 5, 2000 (AFP) - Iranian reformist leader Mohammad-Reza Khatami, brother of President Mohammad Khatami, was formally charged with libel Wednesday in his capacity as head of the daily Mosharekat.

Press court judge Said Mortazavi bailed him in the sum of 50 million rials (16,666 dollars at the official rate of exchange) pending trial, after four hours of questioning.

Kahatami told journalists that his accusers included the police, the state broadcasting company and the watchdog Council of Guardians, all conservative-dominated bodies.

Another complainant was a mullah from the holy city of Qom, he added.

They had "considered our articles defamatory and insulting to them," Khatami said.