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Ally of Iran president accused in protester deaths

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February 26, 2013 08:02 AM EST | AP

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's state TV says prosecutors have accused a close ally of the Iranian president of involvement in the deaths of detainees during unrest after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election nearly four years ago.

The allegations against Saeed Mortazavi, a former Tehran prosecutor, are the latest potential political troubles for Ahmadinejad. Many of the president's allies have been detained or weakened during power struggles with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Tuesday's report says the charges, issued during Mortazavi's first court hearing, include illegal detention and false reporting to higher authorities.

A parliamentary probe two years ago found Mortazavi had a role in the fatal torture of at least three anti-government protesters jailed during mass demonstrations in the wake of the 2009 presidential election.