Iran sentences detained U.S. hikers to 8 years in jail: Prosecutor General
TEHRAN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Tehran's Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi on Sunday confirmed the earlier reports that each of the detained U.S. hikers was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of illegal entry to the country's territory and on charges of espionage, the local ISNA news agency reported.
"Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer each was sentenced to eight years imprisonment," Jafari-Dolatabadi told a press conference.
The two Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, have 20 days to appeal, but the case of Sarah Shourd who was released last September on bail and returned home is still open, he was quoted as saying.
The fourth and last trial session to address the charges against the two hikers and their fellow Sarah Shourd was held earlier this month in the Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolution Court.
On Saturday, Islamic Republic's state TV reported that Iran's judiciary has sentenced each of the two U.S. hikers to eight years in jail.
Later on the day, Iranian lawyer of the detained U.S. hikers, Masoud Shafiee, refused to confirm the reports and told ISNA that "so far, I have not received any official or unofficial news about the court's ruling on my clients."
The three U.S. nationals 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, 2010, on a bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.