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Iranian 'sex scandal' police chief released

world Updated: Jun 14, 2008 20:40 IST
AFP
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A former Iranian police commander detained for on accusations of "immorality" has been released on bail after spending around five months behind bars, state television reported on Saturday.

Former Tehran province police commander Reza Zareie was released on bail of 500 million rials (about USD 54,000), the television said, quoting Tehran judiciary chief Ali Reza Avaie.

"Brigadier General Zareie was jailed for four to five months over moral accusations and was retired as a colonel," he said.

Several Iranian news outlets alleged that Zareie, who enforced one of the toughest moral crackdowns in Iran last year, was found in a "house of corruption" with naked prostitutes.

Avaie added that a former Iranian MP has also been detained over moral issues while another lawmaker facing the same allegations was released on bail.

The Zareie case was a major embarrassment for the police, which have warned tens of thousands of women over the past year for infringing the strict dress code rules in the Islamic republic.

Unlike similar initiatives which wound up in a few months in the past, police vans and officials monitoring passing women have become omnipresent in Tehran's main squares and shopping malls.

The police insist their drive is almost universally popular with the public, but some moderates have questioned the need for the moral crackdown at a time of economic problems including high inflation.