Iran rejects reports of "imminent" release of detained U.S. hikers   2011-08-07 15:47:03 FeedbackPrintRSS

TEHRAN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran's ambassador to Baghdad rejected the reports about the imminent release of the detained U. S. hikers held in Iran on charges of espionage, the local satellite Press TV reported on Sunday.

Iran's judiciary is still probing into their case, Hassan Danaeifar was quoted as saying on Saturday.

He rejected the Associated Press' Thursday report that Danaeifar had told AP that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal would be released "very soon", especially during the holy month of Ramadan, which began in Iran on Tuesday, said Press TV.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed hope that the trial of the U.S. nationals would result in their freedom.

Last week, the lawyer of the U.S. nationals expressed hope that they would soon be released.

The fourth and the last trial session to address the charges against Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer was held last Sunday in the Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolution Court.

Talking to Press TV in a telephone interview on Sunday, the lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, said he hoped they would be sentenced to time served.

"According to the law, the court is obligated to issue the verdict within one week," Shafiee was quoted as saying.

Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer were arrested in Iran on July 31, 2009 for illegally entering Iran's western border and were later charged with espionage. The U.S. government considered the charges totally unfounded.

The female U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd, once jailed in Iran with the other two Americans, was released by Tehran's prosecutor in September on bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

Editor: Yang Lina
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