Iran hangs footballer's mistress


Iran has executed a woman sentenced to death for murdering the wife of a prominent footballer, her lawyer says.

Shahla Jahed was hanged at 5.00am (1.30am Irish time) after the verdict was confirmed by the supreme court and the judiciary chief, lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi said.

Amnesty International called on Iran yesterday to halt Ms Jahed's execution, saying "there are good reasons to suggest that she may have been wrongly convicted".

Ms Jahed, who had a so-called "temporary" marriage with Nasser Mohammad Khani, a former striker for the Iranian national team, was convicted of stabbing to death his "permanent" wife eight years ago.

In the Shia faith that is the majority religion in Iran, men and women can marry for an agreed period of time. Afterwards, the marriage is null and void, although it can be renewed.

Men can have up to four permanent wives, and any number of temporary wives. Women can only be married to one man at a time.

Amnesty said that in early 2008 the judiciary overturned the verdict and ordered a fresh investigation, citing "procedural flaws." However, Ms Jahed was again sentenced to death in February 2009.

Mr Khani was a prominent Iranian footballer in the 1980s and late became a coach for Tehran's Persepolis football club.

The execution is the 146th so far this year. At least 270 people were executed in 2009.

Iran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.