'Iran ready to free US detainee on bail'
US detainees Shane Bauer (L), Josh Fattal (C) and Sarah Shourd, (file photo)
Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi has announced Iran's readiness for the conditional release of one of the three US citizens arrested for illegally entering the country.
Jafari-Dolatabadi said the judge in charge of probing the case has issued an indictment for the trio charged with espionage after the approximate completion of investigations into the three Americans' illegal act, IRNA reported him as saying on Sunday.
Sarah Emily Shourd, 31, Shane Michael Bauer and Joshua Felix Fattal, both 27, were arrested on Iranian territory in July 2009 after illegally crossing the border from the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.
“For two of the defendants, both male, an arrest warrant has been issued, [while] the female co-defendant has been granted a five billion rials (almost $500,000) bail,” said the Islamic Republic judiciary official.
He hinted at the practice of leniency in Shourd's case and said, “Her arrest warrant has been turned into a bail” after considering reports on her well-being.
The Islamic Republic had earlier called off the release of Shourd over unresolved legal issues.
The trio had been charged with espionage after the Tehran prosecutor found "compelling evidence" that the three US citizens had been cooperating with US intelligence agencies.