With a bill passed by the so-called parliament in Iran on criminal court cases, and being approved by the Guardian Council into law, from now on political defendants are not allowed to be represented by lawyers of their choice during preliminary investigation stages of their cases. Nasrin Sotudeh believes this will lead to unfair trials.
From June 22nd this new law is implemented and must be abided. Based on a footnote on article 48 of this text, from now on security prisoners in the preliminary stages of their trial can only choose lawyers from those approved by the judiciary branch.
Many independent lawyers and jurists consider this new law as being in violation of principle 35 of the constitution. Nasrin Sotudeh, a lawyer and jurist that represented many political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, says, “Time and again I have seen lawyers chosen by the judiciary telling the defendant in the preliminary stage of the trial that they have for example set motorcycles ablaze or were in contact with foreign networks, prepared news reports; just accept all these charges and I will fix up your case.”Mrs. Sotudeh stipulates, “Such a defendant, having such a lawyer, doesn’t need any day in court because his/her verdict is known beforehand.
If such conditions are implemented in trials for political crimes, of course there is no possibility of providing legal representation by independent lawyers during the preliminary stages of the investigation, she said, adding naturally such a lawyer will not be able to independently and freely continue his/her work.
(Deutsche Welle – July 1, 2015)