Cablegate: Austrian Parliamentarian Demands Charges Against
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UNCLAS VIENNA 002254
STATE FOR NEA AND EUR/AGS - VIKMANIS-KELLER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV IR AU
SUBJECT: AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENTARIAN DEMANDS CHARGES AGAINST
This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please handle
1. (U) A Greens parliamentarian has asked the Austrian state
prosecutor's office to open a criminal case against Iranian
President-elect Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for involvement in the
1989 murders of three Kurdish leaders in Vienna. Pilz claims
to have received information from a person he has identified
as "Witness D," a former Teheran journalist who had an
"insider's knowledge" of the planning and outcome of the
2. (U) On July 13, 1989, three men were shot and killed:
Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, General Secretary of the Democratic
Party of Kurdistan/Iran; his deputy, Abdullah Ghaderi-Azar;
and Fadel Rasoul. The suspected murderers took refuge in the
Iranian Embassy in Vienna, and later were able to return to
Iran in the absence of hard evidence. "Witness D" claims
that it was Mahmoud Ahmedinejad who delivered the murder
weapon from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna to the trigger men.
"Witness D" further claims that Ahmedinejad was at the scene
of the crime, armed with an automatic weapon in order to gun
down the victims if they tried to escape. In the event,
however, he never had to fire his weapon.
3. (U) "Witness D" is now in France, Pilz says, and does not
want to leave. However, he is "at the disposal" of Austrian
authorities, Pilz says.
4. (U) Pilz has provided information to the prosecutor in
his capacity as a private citizen, not in a parliamentary
capacity. The prosecutor can choose whether or not to
proceed with the case. Pilz has told the press that Austrian
authorities have opened an investigation, and his office has
said the same to us privately. However, neither the Interior
Ministry, the Justice Ministry nor the Foreign Ministry has
been able to confirm to us that this is the case.
5. (U) The Austrian press has reported Ahmedinejad's denial
of complicity in the 1989 Vienna murders, as well as in the
1979 Embassy Tehran hostage taking.