On Thursday, April 21, the Court of Stockholm that is currently trying Hamid Noury, a former prison guard accused of participating in the execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 in Gohardasht Prison, held its 86th session with an extraordinary examination of the defendant. As with other defense hearings in recent months, his family, including his wife, daughter, bride, son, and son-in-law, attended the hearing.
The prosecutors had requested the questioning and provided audio and video evidence known as “Protocol 16” to the court. One of the prosecutors explained how investigators put a great deal of effort to obtain part of the audio and video content from the defendant’s phone, accessing evidence Hamid Noury had deleted the night before he flew to Sweden.
Some of the evidence included a conversation between Hamid Noury’s wife and daughter, the night before he left Iran, and his eventual arrest the same day at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. In this conversation, Hamid Noury’s wife asks her daughter about her father’s whereabouts, and the girl answers that her father and Massoud (Noury’s son-in-law) were in the next room, clearing their cell phone data before traveling to Sweden.
Protocol 16 video documents are in fact deleted screenshots including the phone numbers of state officials and key locations in Iran. The data indicates that the largest and most important part of the deleted information includes information about his former boss at Gohardasht Prison Mohammad Moghiseh, Moghiseh’s family members, and especially his bodyguards.
Explaining to the prosecutor about the deleted information, Hamid Noury said: “I was going to visit Mr. Heresh Sadegh Ayoubi (the ex-husband of Hamid Noury’s stepdaughter). He was an intruder of a person. I deleted the phone numbers that I thought he might have called, and some of them were working in Evin Prison. I wish I had not recorded these numbers in the first place, Madam Prosecutor. Because the plaintiffs in this case are my enemies and the enemies of Iran.”
Responding to the prosecutor’s question about why he did travel to Sweden while he knew he would have been drawn into trouble with Heresh, the defendant said because he had respect for Heresh’s wife, his own stepdaughter.
Addressing the court judges and prosecutors, Hamid Noury said: “Rest assured that when I leave this place, I will have the numbers of all lawyers, prosecutors, police, and everyone else. Especially the phone number of Mr. Kenneth Lewis.”
Responding to a question from Kenneth Lewis, lawyer of some plaintiffs who are members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK), Noury claimed: “These people have fabricated my conversation with Moghiseh. They have edited some pieces together. This is what your clients are good at.”
Noury denied having met with Mohammad Moghiseh before leaving Iran, despite his own confirmation.
On November 15, 2019, the NCRI’s Security and Counterterrorism Commission released a secret tape from interrogator and torturer Mohammad Moghiseh (aka Naserian) that proved how Moghiseh had tried to dissuade Noury from traveling to Sweden, a few days before his trip, warning him that he would be arrested. Moghiseh stressed that the police, the intelligence apparatus, and the court in Sweden were already aware of Noury’s whereabouts through an Iranian pilot (ex-husband of Hamid Noury’s stepdaughter, Heresh Sadegh Ayoubi).
When asked to whom the name ‘Raisi’ in his address book belongs, the defendant explained that it has nothing to do with the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi, rather it belonged to “Ata Raisi”, his colleague from Evin Prison.
Highlighting that there were 15 phone numbers from officials in Evin Prison compared to the ten phone numbers from other officials in Gohardasht Prison, Kenneth Lewis asked the defendant to explain his communications as he had claimed he had only worked in Evin prison and had never worked in Gohardasht Prison. In response, Noury said that he had visited Gohardasht Prison and had made friendships over the last 10 years.
The defendant emphasized that prison officials would only grant prison furlough to ‘penitents’, those who had renounced their beliefs, chose to repent and cooperated with the prison officials.
Responding to his own lawyer, Hamid Noury said: “Usually I was in charge of granting furlough to prisoners. Do you know to whom we would grant prison furlough? Only prisoners who repented and cooperated with us. They were the only ones we were allowed to leave. They would come and give reports about their wards, they would report their friends, they would help us, and so we would help them and give them incentives. We gave them furlough, but only to repentants. Did I answer your question?”
The next hearing will be held on Monday, April 25 in Stockholm.