Index

DATE=7/11/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN / RIOT VERDICT (L-O) NUMBER=2-264295 BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: An Iranian court has acquitted Tehran's former police chief and 17-associates of any wrongdoing in the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations last year in the Iranian Capital. Correspondent Laurie Kassman has the latest details from our Middle East Bureau. TEXT: The acquittal verdict coincides with the first year anniversary of the pro-democracy demonstrations, which ended in violent clashes with police. At least one student was killed and hundreds more injured during two-days of street riots that marked the worst wave of violence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution ousted Shah Reza Pahlevi. It shocked and unnerved the government, which moved quickly to stop it. Iran's state news agency says Tehran's former police chief and 17 policemen have been acquitted of assault charges brought by students severely beaten in the clashes. Farhad Nazari and his co-defendants had been charged with using unreasonable force against the students and illegally entering the Tehran University campus. One police sergeant has been sentenced to 91-days in jail and fined for stealing a student's electric razor during the police raid on a Tehran University student hostel. Another officer has been sentenced to two- years in jail for disobeying orders not to enter the hostel. But many reformers say the police agents on trial are not the real organizers of the attack, who have never been identified or reprimanded. There were small demonstrations outside Tehran University last Saturday to mark the first-year anniversary of the crackdown. Meanwhile, reformist President Mohammad Khatami is visiting Germany to repair relations damaged by German allegations linking Iran's Islamic leadership to a 1992 assassination of an Iranian dissident. Mr. Khatami has been struggling to soften Iran's hard-line image abroad while pushing for democratic reforms at home. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/GE/RAE 11-Jul-2000 08:32 AM EDT (11-Jul-2000 1232 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .