Iranian woman could still be 'stoned to death' for adultery, murder, says Chief prosecutor

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Tehran, Sept 29 (ANI): Contradicting earlier statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery charges, the Chief prosecutor has claimed that she could still be 'stoned to death' for her crime.

According to the Washington Post, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, however, stressed that based on a Shiite Islamic punishment for adultery, Ashtiani is more likely to be executed by hanging instead of receiving the stoning sentence.

"In regard to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, such a verdict [stoning] has been issued, but the case must finish its process and stages," Mohseni-Ejei, a former minister of intelligence, said.

He further stated that in Islam the methods to prove extra-marital affairs is very hard," and added that a conviction for murder weighed more heavily than one for adultery.

"Retribution [death by hanging] has priority over Islamic punishment [stoning]," Mohseni-Ejei told the Iranian Labor News Agency.

Last week, Ahmadinejad denied that Ashtiani was ever sentenced to stoning and added that the "news was made up."

Ashtiani originally pleaded guilty in May 2006 of having an illicit relationship with two men after the death of her husband and received 99 lashes as punishment. Four months later, when a separate court prosecuted one of the two men on charges of killing her husband, she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

Iranian authorities subsequently said Ashtiani had committed murder. In August, she confessed on state-run television that she had been an accomplice in her husband's murder and had committed adultery with his cousin. But her attorney said she was threatened to make the statements after being tortured for two days.

The case has led to worldwide protests, which led to condemnation of Iran by the International leaders and media. (ANI)

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