“Assassins of the Turquoise Palace throws light on the rivalries and fears within Iran’s cast exile community… carefully researched and vividly written…In addition to being a lively account of an extraordinary trial, [it] can be read as an unsettling reminder of the dangers of excessive zeal.” The New York Times
A New York Times Notable Book of 2011
On the evening of September 17, 1992, eight leading members of the Iranian and Kurdish opposition had gathered at a little-known restaurant in Berlin
when two darkly clad men burst through the entrance. Within moments the roar of a machine gun filled the air. Two rounds of fire and four single shots later, four of the men were dead.
Who had pulled the trigger? The morning papers implicated the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. The chief federal prosecutor suspected a rival opposition group. But neither the press nor the country’s top lawman knew then that these men were not the only ones who had been killed. Since the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, over one hundred Iranian exiles had disappeared or been assassinated in Europe
But one of the survivors of that shooting, along with the widow of one of the victims and a handful of reporters, attorneys, and fellow exiles, began a crusade that would not only pit themselves against Tehran but against some of the greatest powers in Germany. An undeterred federal prosecutor and an endlessly patient chief judge took over the case and a historic verdict followed that shook both Europe and Iran
, and achieved something few could have predictedjustice.Assassins of the Turquoise Palace
is the first book to tell this story in all its detail, from the ghastly shooting inside Mykonos restaurant to the investigation that took place over the course of several years, and finally to the landmark triala case that marked the first and only time that a non-democratic regime had been put on trial for its blatant violation of international law, and which to this day remains the only instance of Western success against Iran’s ruling clerics. Roya Hakakian’s Assassins of the Turquoise Palace
is an incredible book of history and reportage, and an unforgettable narrative of heroism and justice.