Saturday Apr 27, 201305:34 PM GMT
Iran denies release of US nationals
Shane Bauer (L) and Joshua Fattal, two of the three US nationals detained in Iran on illegal entry and espionage charges
Shane Bauer (L) and Joshua Fattal, two of the three US nationals detained in Iran on illegal entry and espionage charges
Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:40AM
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Iran's Judiciary has rejected recent media reports on the imminent release of the two American nationals that were convicted of spying on behalf of the United States.


The Public Relations Department of Iran's Judiciary announced on Wednesday that it is still examining pleas by lawyers of the two defendants for their release on bail.

Information about the case will be released by the Judiciary and other reports on the issue are not considered reliable, the announcement read.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated in an interview with NBC news channel that two US nationals will be released in a couple of days as a humanitarian gesture.

Earlier in the day, the lawyer for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, Masoud Shafiee, claimed that a court has set a bail of $500,000 for each of them, adding that the two will be freed when the bail is paid.

“The families of the two Americans and the Swiss embassy, as the representative of US interests in Tehran, were informed of this matter today,” Shafiee said.

Bauer, Fattal and Sarah Shourd were arrested on Iranian territory in July 2009 after illegally crossing the border in a sensitive area at the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The three were charged with espionage after Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi found "compelling evidence" that the three US natives were actually invoved with cooperating with US intelligence agencies.

Iran released Shourd on a bail of $500,000 in September 2010, 14 months after her arrest. The decision was made based on humanitarian grounds due to her health condition.

In August, Iran sentenced Bauer and Fattal to eight years in prison for their convictions.

ASH/MB
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