Iranian judge to decide on trial session of detained U.S. hikers

10:42, October 25, 2010      

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Iran will try two detained U.S. hikers on Nov. 6 and the judge will decide if the hearing session is to be open or not, the lawyer of the detained Americans said Sunday.

The Americans will be tried over unlawful entry into Iran's territory and on espionage charges, Massoud Shafiei was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying.

"Their case will be examined at Iran's Revolution Court and the judge will decide if the hearing session is to be open or not," Shafiei told ISNA.

"I will be present in the hearing session as the lawyer of the three Americans," he was quoted as saying.

The two U.S. hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, have been held in a Tehran jail for more than a year. Another female U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd once jailed together with them was released by Tehran's prosecutor last month on bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

After the release of Shourd, Tehran's prosecutor Abbas Jaafari Dowlatabadi said in September that the files of three U.S. hikers had been sent to the court and they would be tried soon.

Dowlatabadi said Shourd was required to attend her trial session. In case she does not appear in court for the trail the bail would be confiscated.

The three Americans were arrested in Iran on July 31 last year for illegally entering the country from its western borders and were charged with espionage last November. The U.S. government said the charges were totally unfounded.

Source: Xinhua


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