An Iranian court has sentenced a former state prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to 135 lashes for abusing his position, a media report said on Wednesday.

A close ally of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mortazavi had also been accused of involvement in the deaths of three political prisoners under unclear circumstances but was acquitted of that charge.

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However, he is known to have targeted other government opponents as a prosecutor and ordered the closure of several reformist newspapers.

The report noted that in 2014, Mortazavi was banned from serving in the judiciary following numerous accusations of human rights abuses.

It said that he has also been linked to the death of an Iranian-Canadian photographer while in custody in 2003.

Zahra Kazemi was allegedly struck on the head during questioning led by the prosecutor and died of a brain haemorrhage as a result.

He was arrested after taking pictures of Evin prison, a detention centre for political prisoners in Tehran.