Minutes later, the former Prime Minister was taken into the prison’s yard. Before reaching the area designated for firing squad executions, Hojatoleslam Hadi Ghaffari (currently a political reformist) pulled out a pistol and shot Hoveyda twice in the neck. He was left on the ground in agony, begging for the executioners to “finish him off”. Seconds before the coup de grace was at last given, Hoveyda is said to have gasped to the guard standing over him: “It wasn’t supposed to end like this”. According to the autopsy report, he apparently also was beaten shortly before his execution.