DUBAI Dec 2 Iran has suspended the death
sentence for a computer programmer convicted on charges of
running a pornographic website after he "repented for his
actions," his lawyer was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian citizen and Canadian resident,
was arrested in 2008 while visiting relatives in Iran, according
to Amnesty International.
Although Iranian authorities accused him of running a
pornography site, Amnesty has said the charges appear to stem
from a software programme created by Malekpour that was used
without his knowledge to post pornographic images. Such images
are illegal in the Islamic republic.
Malekpour's lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei told Mehr
news agency that his client had repented for his actions after
his death sentence, issued by the Revolutionary Court, was
confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.
"After the sentence was confirmed my client repented for his
actions. With this repentance, the death sentence has been
suspended," the lawyer told Mehr. Malekpour was accused of
"insulting and desecrating" Islam, according to Amnesty.
There was no immediate comment or confirmation from Iranian
The Canadian government has protested Iran's handling of the
case, saying this year that Malekpour had "failed to receive
fair and transparent legal treatment."
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief,
called on the Iranian government in February to review
Malekpour's sentence and halt his execution.
(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Roger Atwood)