TEHRAN, Iran - A woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed to helping a man kill her husband and reenacted the alleged murder in an interview shown Friday on state television - an apparent effort by the government to deflect international criticism over the case.
It was the fourth time Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani has been shown on TV as Tehran faced an outcry over the stoning-death sentence, the latest source of friction between Iran and the West.
Authorities announced her murder conviction only after the uproar over the stoning sentence erupted last summer. Her lawyer, who has since been arrested, said she was never put on trial for the killing and was tortured into confessing.
Iranian authorities could use the murder conviction, which is punishable by death, to justify executing Ashtiani, though by hanging, not stoning. Officials have not announced whether Ashtiani has been sentenced in the murder.
In the new footage broadcast on English-language Press TV, Ashtiani, 43, a mother of two, was brought from the prison to her home outside Tabriz, where she was shown acting out the alleged December 2005 killing, with an actor as her husband.
Ashtiani described how she began an affair with a man identified as Isa Taheri. She said she gave her husband an injection that rendered him unconscious, then Taheri came to her house and electrocuted him.
Ashtiani said Taheri tied a wire to her husband's foot and another to his waist. "The seventh time, my husband didn't move. He died," she said.
Ashtiani gave similar details in her previous confession on Aug. 12, but this was the first time she was shown in the house where the killing occurred. It also was the first time her face was shown.
Amnesty International criticized the broadcast, saying it violated international standards for a fair trial.
Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men after the murder of her husband and sentenced to 99 lashes. Later that year, she was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to be stoned, even though she retracted a confession she said was made under duress.
After intense demands from Western politicians and rights groups to free her, Iran put her stoning sentence for adultery on hold in July for review by the supreme court. A month later, her purported confession to murder was aired.