This one’s so egregious, I suspect it might not be true. I can’t find any other stories about it on the wires and the only source appears to be the victims’ lawyers.
The Beeb felt confident enough to run it, though, so here you go:
The serial killings took place in 2002 in the south-eastern city of Kerman…
Up to 18 people were killed in just one year, but only five of the murders were tried in court.
According to their confessions, the killers put some of their victims in pits and stoned them to death. Others were suffocated. One man was even buried alive while others had their bodies dumped in the desert to be eaten by wild animals.
The accused, who were all members of an Islamic paramilitary force, told the court their understanding of the teachings of one Islamic cleric allowed them to kill immoral people if they had ignored two warnings to stop their bad behaviour.
But there was no judicial process to determine the guilt of the victims in these cases…
Now the Supreme Court is reported to have acquitted all the killers of the charge of murder on the grounds that their victims were all morally corrupt.
Iran announced today it’s accepting bids for construction of two new nuclear power plantsDh at Bushehr. According to an Iranian nuclear official, European firms have expressed “serious interest.”
Update: Bill Amos notes in the comments that the defendants were acquitted of murder but may face prison on a lesser charge. Fair enough; I’ve changed the headline from “frees” to “acquits.”