Mr. Pratt to Mr. Blaine.
Teheran , July 26, 1890. (Received September 12.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 474, of the 15th instant, I have the honor to report that the prime minister, His Highness the Eminé Soultan, in acknowledging the receipt of the minutes of the proceedings in the trial of the Armenian Minas for the assassination of Mrs. Wright, informed me that His Majesty the Shah had been led by the authorities at Tabreez to believe that the evidence against the accused was not sufficient to warrant his being executed, and had therefore ordered that he be imprisoned for life instead.
Thereupon I asked to see the Eminé Soultan immediately upon his return, and had an interview with him this afternoon.
On questioning him as to His Majesty’s reasons for withholding the death sentence in the present case, His Highness informed me that it was done upon the recommendation of the Emir Nizam, the governor of Tabreez, and handed me a telegram from that official stating that since the charge of murder did not appear to him clearly proved against the prisoner, he would recommend his being condemned to imprisonment and not executed.
I then had laid before His Highness the report of the full proceedings of the trial, and, after we had carefully gone over it together, gave it as my opinion that the guilt of the accused was conclusively established by the evidence adduced, and that, although most adverse to the taking of human life for any cause, I could not see how, in the vindication of justice in the present instance, and as an example for the future, anything short of capital punishment would meet the exigencies of the occasion.[Page 685]
His Highness seemed much impressed by the argument I advanced, which he said he would repeat to the Shah and advocate his being guided by my views in the premises.
At this juncture I would respectfully request that you instruct me as to whether I am still further to press the matter of the execution of Mrs. Wright’s murderer, in the event that the same is not decreed by His Majesty the Shah upon the representations made by me to the prime minister as here reported.
I have, etc.,