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Final verdict not yet decided on Iranian woman sentenced to stoning

By Mitra Mobasherat, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Announcement comes amid reports of death sentence for murder
  • Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's case is still being mulled

(CNN) -- A final verdict has not been decided yet on the case of the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

This announcement comes amid reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, will be hanged for murdering her husband, a charge her lawyer denies.

At his weekly press briefing Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said the judiciary is still reviewing the case against the Iranian mother of two.

"What is now being considered [by the court] is the issue of murder and her participation in murder has been proven beyond any doubt."

"The final verdict will be issued after the completion of the due process," Mehmanparast said.

Earlier this week semi-official Mehr News reported that Mohammadi Ashtiani received a death sentence for murdering her husband.

"According to the court's ruling, she is convicted of murder and her death sentence has priority over her punishment [for committing adultery]," National Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told a press conference on Monday, according to Mehr.

Mohammadi Ashtiani's son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, told CNN last month that court officials stole documents and files pertaining to the murder of his father in order to "promote his mother as a murderer."

The International Committee Against Stoning, a human rights group that has taken on Mohammadi Ashtiani's case, says the murder charges are "fabicated" by the regime.

Last month, Mohammadi Ashtiani appeared on state TV confessing she knew about a plot to kill her husband, but felt she had been misled.

Amnesty International human rights group criticized the interview with Mohammadi Ashtiani.

"Televised 'confessions' have repeatedly been used by the authorities to incriminate individuals in custody," Amnesty International said. "Many have later retracted these 'confessions,' stating that they were coerced to make them, sometimes under torture or other ill-treatment."

Shortly after her television appearance, her family and lawyer said they have been denied visitation rights at the prison.

Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 and sentenced to death by stoning, but her son and human rights activists urged help for her this summer, prompting an international outcry.