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  1. #1
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    Trial of U.S. hikers in Iran

    Americans deny spy charges in Iranian court

    Two Americans held in Iran for the last 18 months on suspicion of espionage pleaded not guilty in court on Sunday on the first day of their closed-door trial, state television reported.

    Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested on July 31, 2009 near Iran’s border with Iraq, along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released on $500,000 bail in September and returned home. The trio, in their late 20s and early 30s, say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake. Under Iranian law, espionage can carry the death penalty. State-run English language Press TV said the two men had appeared in court but that Shourd, who had been summoned, did not. All three pleaded not guilty of espionage and illegal entry, Press TV said.

    No date has been set for the trial to resume, it added. The proceedings were closed to the public and press. The affair has compounded tension between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent storming of the US embassy by revolutionary students.

    A trial date set for last November was postponed at the last minute due to the absence of Shourd, who has met President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the United States since her release. Press TV quoted the Tehran prosecutor’s office as saying “it has ‘compelling evidence’ that three were cooperating with US intelligence agencies”.

    The defence lawyer, who was barred from seeing his clients for four months before the day of their trial, said he was confident the spying charge would be shown to be baseless and even charges of illegal entry into Iran could be beaten.

    “I have studied all the details and I am sure that my clients are not guilty and the espionage charge does not have any substance,” Masoud Shafii told Reuters before the trial. “Even if the illegal entry happened, due to the fact that the border is not signposted and they could not have recognised it; even if it did happen, they are not at fault,” he said. reuters

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...-2-2011_pg14_3

  2. #2
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    Iran Capital Punishment News

    IRAN: American hiker, released on bail after being detained in 2009, is subpoenaed for court hearing

    A woman who was among three Americans detained by Iranian forces in 2009 on suspicion of spying is wanted back in Iran for a court hearing in May, a news agency reported Tuesday.

    Subpoenas issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry indicate Sarah Shourd's presence at the court session scheduled May 11 is considered mandatory, said her lawyer, Masoud Shafii, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

    Iran released Shourd on $500,000 bail in September, but her two male companions remained jailed in Tehran. Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who have pleaded not guilty, were hiking near the Iran-Iraq border when they were arrested.

    Espionage charges can carry the death penalty under Iranian law.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/baby...5431f74641970c

  3. #3
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    Trial of U.S. hikers in Iran

    The scheduled trial of two Americans accused of espionage in Iran was delayed again Wednesday after the suspects were not brought from jail to the courthouse, a Swiss diplomat told CNN.

    "I have been able to verify that the session has actually been postponed due to the absence of the two prisoners. They were not brought in from prison," said an official with the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, who according to protocol, asked not to be identified.

    Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.

    "There were no reasons given why they were not brought in," the diplomat said.

    Iranian authorities had once again barred Swiss diplomats from monitoring trial proceedings of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who were charged with espionage after being arrested 22 months ago while hiking along an unmarked border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan.

    The two Americans were expected to appear in Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary court on Wednesday morning.

    The last time Fattal and Bauer appeared in court, Swiss diplomats and the prisoners' defense attorney were not allowed into the courtroom.

    In an interview with CNN on Tuesday night, defense attorney Masoud Shafii said he had yet to be granted a private meeting with his clients.

    "What I hope is that the court comes to a decision," Shafii said.

    "This case must be closed. It has gone on long enough." Human rights organizations have launched direct appeals to Iranian officials calling for the Americans' release. "

    The endless prosecution of the two hikers appears to be little more than a political jab at the United States," said Sarah Leah Whitson of the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch.

    "This case highlights the cruel and arbitrary nature of the Iranian justice system."

    In a separate statement, Amnesty International's Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said the Iranian justice system "has systematically failed to observe international fair trial standards in this case, including giving the men adequate contact with their lawyer, families or consular assistance."

    A third U.S. citizen who was arrested on the border in 2009 and accused of spying has refused to attend Wednesday's scheduled court hearing after being released on bail last year.

    Iranian authorities allowed Sarah Shourd, Bauer's fiancee, to leave the country on "humanitarian grounds" after she paid bail of half-a-million dollars.

    Shourd said she would not return because she was suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder after spending 14 months in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

    In a essay published this week in The New York Times, Shourd wrote Fattal and Bauer's cell "contains two beds, a sink, a toilet, a shower and an empty space about the size of a large beach towel. With fluorescent lights continuously kept on, Josh and Shane never enjoy the luxury of darkness; in order to sleep at night they have to tie a shirt around their eyes."

    An Iranian prosecutor said investigators found "compelling evidence" all three Americans were spies.

    Suspects convicted on espionage charges can face the death penalty in Iran. All three American prisoners have maintained their innocence.

    "They were strictly travelers who were near an unmarked border that no one would be able to know whether it was Iraq or Iran," defense lawyer Shafii said.

    The picturesque mountain border region where the Americans were detained is a popular picnic and camping destination for Iraqi Kurds. The border is also porous. Smugglers regularly cross the frontier on donkeys and horseback, bringing fuel to Iraq and alcohol into the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/....hikers.trial/

  4. #4
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    'Iran says it will issue verdicts on US hikers soon'
    By REUTERS
    08/15/2011 19:30

    Judiciary official quoted as saying that review of espionage case has ended; denies "rumors" that 2 would be released during Ramadan.


    TEHRAN - Iran will issue verdicts soon on American hikers detained for more than two years on espionage charges, a judiciary official was quoted as saying on Monday, dimming hopes for their immediate release.

    Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been awaiting a verdict since their trial ended last month. They pleaded not guilty to spying charges after they were arrested along with American Sarah Shourd in July 2009 near Iran's border with Iraq.

    RELATED:
    Iran foreign minister says hopes US 'hikers' will be freed
    Iran may release detained US hikers soon, says lawyer


    Shourd was released on bail in September 2010 and returned to the United States.

    "Reviewing the case has ended and the final verdict will be issued soon," Prosecutor General Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei was quoted as saying by the students' news agency ISNA.

    When asked whether the two men would be released during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on Aug. 1, Mohseni-Ejei said he had not heard such "rumors", according to ISNA.

    Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Aug. 6 he hoped the two Americans would be freed, in what was seen at the time as the most positive signal yet that their ordeal may soon end.

    Their lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, had said he expected a verdict within a week of the final court hearing.

    Spying can be punishable by death in Iran but Shafiee has said there is no evidence against his clients and even if found guilty of illegally entering Iran they should be freed due to time already served.

    In November, Iran's judiciary announced espionage charges against the three. Their families said they were hiking and had strayed across the border accidentally. Washington says the charges are totally unfounded and they should be released.

    The United States cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after the 1979 Iranian revolution. The two countries are now embroiled in a row over Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making atomic bombs. Tehran denies this.

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=233886

  5. #5
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    Iran sentences 2 American men to 8 years in jail in blow to hopes for freedom

    TEHRAN, Iran — Two American men already held for two years in Tehran have been sentenced to 8 years each in prison on charges of espionage and illegal entry into Iran, state TV reported Saturday.

    The announcement appeared to dash hopes for the imminent release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal after Iran’s foreign minister suggested earlier this month that the trial could clear the way for their freedom.

    The Americans deny the charges and say they were only hiking in a scenic and largely peaceful area of northern Iraq near the Iranian border.

    The two men have been held since July 2009 after being taken into custody on the Iran-Iraq border. A third American who was taken with them, Sarah Shourd, was released in September 2010 on $500,000 bail and returned to the United States.

    Shourd’s case “is still open,” the website irinn.ir reported.

    Bauer and Fattal, who are both 28, have been sentenced to three years each for illegal entry into Iran and five years each for spying for the United States, the website quoted “informed sources” at Iran’s judiciary as saying. It was not immediately clear if that includes time served. They have 20 days to appeal the sentence.

    Their Iranian attorney, Masoud Shafiei, said he has not been notified of the verdict but he will definitely appeal the sentence if true.

    “I’ve not been notified of any verdict in the case of my clients,” Shafiei told The Associated Press. “This is a strong verdict inconsistent with the charges.”

    The Americans say they mistakenly crossed into Iran when they stepped off a dirt road while hiking near a waterfall. While other parts of Iraq remain troubled by violence, the semiautonomous Kurdish north has drawn tourists in recent years, including foreigners.

    The case has added to tensions between the United States and Iran that were already high over other issues, including Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

    The U.S. government has appealed for the two men to be released, insisting that they have done nothing wrong. The two countries have no direct diplomatic relations, so Washington has been relying on an interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to follow the case.

    Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he hoped “the trial of the two American defendants who were detained for the crime of illegally entering Iran will finally lead to their freedom.” Their lawyer also had expressed hope they might receive a pardon for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

    Phone and email messages left for Sarah Shourd; Shane Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey; and the families’ media representative, Samantha Topping, were not immediately returned.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...rc=al_national

  6. #6
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    Iran committing a miscarriage of justice??!?? Who would've ever thought it??

  7. #7
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    Hikers' lawyer appeals Iran spying sentences

    The lawyer for two Americans convicted of spying in Iran said on Sunday he had lodged an appeal against their eight-year sentences and still hoped they might be pardoned.

    Masoud Shafiee has not been able to see Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal since their conviction last week but said they had been informed of the verdict, passed two years after their arrest near the Iraq border where they say they were hiking.

    The sentence came as a shock for supporters of the men whose hopes for their imminent release had been raised by positive comments from Iran's foreign minister.

    "I hope because of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr they might enjoy Islamic clemency," Shafiee told Reuters.

    The end of the Muslim fasting month, which has yet to be announced by religious authorities in Iran, is likely to be on Tuesday or Wednesday and Shafiee said clemency remained a possibility.

    Bauer and Fattal were arrested on July 31, 2009 along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released on $500,000 bail in September 2010 and returned home.
    Story: Clinton: US disappointed by hikers' plight in Iran

    The trio, in their late 20s and early 30s, say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake. Under Iranian law, espionage can carry the death penalty.

    Their trial took place behind closed doors and no evidence against them has been made public.

    The affair has compounded tension between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent storming of the U.S. embassy by revolutionary students.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44304667.../#.TlpQkGPLq_I

  8. #8
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    They said they MAY let them go by the end of Ramadan since that's when they pardon people IF they want to. I kinda doubt it though since I think something would've happened by now.

  9. #9
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    Iran State TV: American Hikers Released
    2nd judge signs bail paperwork, release to come shortly

    Two American men jailed as spies in Iran since 2009 have been released, Iran's official Press TV reports.

    Prior to the report, a lawyer for two Americans imprisoned as spies in Iran for more than two years expects to start paperwork for their release Wednesday, he told CNN.

    A second judge signed bail paperwork for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, Masoud Shafiee said, leaving only minor banking details to be sorted out.

    Shafiee said he was on the way to Evin Prison, where the two Americans are being held, to begin release paperwork.

    He declined to say who was paying bail for the men.

    They are due to be released at 3 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET), he said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

    Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti told CNN she had not been officially informed of the pending release, but would undertake all duties normally handled by American officials in such circumstances.

    Switzerland handles United States interests in Tehran because there is no American embassy there.

    Fattal and Bauer were arrested along with a third hiker, Sarah Shourd, in July 2009 after apparently straying over an unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran. Shourd was freed earlier on medical grounds.

    Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were convicted last month of entering Iran illegally and spying for the United States, and each sentenced to eight years in prison.

    The Americans say they accidentally crossed into Iran when they veered off a dirt road while hiking near a sight seeing venture in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. They have denied the charges and appealed the sentence while serving time in Tehran's Evin prison.

    High-profile American Muslims including boxing legend Muhammad Ali have called for their release, and a high-profile delegation and Christian and Muslim American religious leaders met Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran last week to plead for their freedom.

    Ahmadinejad said before the meeting that the release of Fattal and Bauer was imminent, setting off a week-long roller coaster ride of expectations.

    The judiciary shot back that only it could make decisions about their release.

    Shafiee then announced that all the paperwork had been filed for them to be freed on bail, but their release was delayed by the lack of a judge's signature on bail paperwork.

    Reports have put the bail amount at $500,000 for each American.

    An Omani official flew to Iran on September 14 to help work on any negotiation, a Western diplomat told CNN at the time.

    Oman helped secure the release of Shourd, posting her bail last September, a senior Obama administration official said at the time.

    Ahmadinejad is slated to speak in New York at the U.N. General Assembly this week, but his visit is not linked to moves to release the Americans, according to Mohammad Javad Larijani, the top human rights official of the Iranian judiciary.

    http://www.wfmz.com/news/Iran-State-...2/-/4qtm59z/-/

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