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Iran prepared to release US men jailed for spying: lawyer

A third American arrested for crossing the Iranian border illegally in 2009 was released last year on bail.

From left: Americans Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal during their detention in Tehran in May 2010.
From left: Americans Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal during their detention in Tehran in May 2010.
Image: AP Photo/Press TV, File

THE LAWYER for two Americans jailed in Iran on charges of espionage says his clients could be released after a court hearing slated for Sunday.

Masoud Shafiei said today the fact that the session in the trial of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would coincide with the second anniversary of their arrest may indicate that they will be freed.

There also is a tradition in the Muslim world of pardoning prisoners for the holy month of Ramadan, which starts early next week.

Bauer and Fattal have been jailed since July 2009. Bauer’s fiance, Sarah Shourd, was arrested with them but released last year on $500,000 bail.

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

- AP

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