US Hikers Jailed in Iran Await Judge’s Return

Posted September 20th, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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The lawyer for two American hikers jailed in Iran says he is still waiting for the return of a second judge needed to sign their release order.

Masoud Shafiei said he went to the court Tuesday seeking to complete the paperwork on a $1 million bail deal for Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, but the judge had not returned from leave.

Shafiei said judiciary officials told him to await their call when the judge arrives, but he told the Reuters news agency he does not expect the call to come anytime soon.

One judge signed the documents Saturday, and Shafiei said earlier the second necessary judge was expected back to work on Tuesday.

Last month, Iran gave Bauer and Fattal eight-year sentences on charges of spying and illegally entering the country.

They were arrested on July 31, 2009 along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was freed on $500,000 bail last year and returned to the United States.

The trio has always proclaimed their innocence and said they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq while on vacation. They said that if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake.