An Iranian court has sentenced to death a man who was involved in the murder of the renowned film director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife, the screenwriter Vahideh Mohammadifar. The couple were stabbed to death last October at their residence in Karaj, a city near Tehran. His daughter Ape discovered the bodies in the house, said the President of the Supreme Court of Alborz Province, Hossein Fazeli-Harikandi.
Three other people were sentenced to prison terms of between 8 and 36 years for their involvement in planning and participating in the murders, Fazeli-Harikandi confirmed. In Monday’s ruling, posted on the Iranian judiciary’s Mizan website, the judge said the four defendants confessed after being detained days after the killings.
Fazeli-Harikandi added that the killer, whose identity was not revealed, was sentenced to death under Islamic law of retribution at the request of Mehrjui’s family. The main perpetrator had previously worked for the renowned director and, according to Agence France-Press, “held a grudge against the deceased for financial reasons.”
Mehrjui, 83, was considered one of the founders of Iranian new wave cinema. The renowned filmmaker trained in the USA has won several important awards and his films have been well received at international festivals. Although many of them were censored in Iran. And he was also considered one of the main critics of the Ayatollah regime.
“If there were and are five renowned directors in the history of Iranian cinema, then one of them was undoubtedly Dariush Mehrjui,” said the popular actor. Reza Kianian to the newspaper Tehran Times. His wife Mohammadifar also worked in the world of cinema as a screenwriter and costume designer.