Iran: Release of US hikers delayed as judge on vacation

Oman sends plane to pick up Americans, lawyer takes release papers to court to have them signed by judge who is currently away.

By REUTERS
September 18, 2011 19:03
2 minute read.
Shane Bauer.

Shane Bauer 311. (photo credit: Allison Joyce / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

TEHRAN - The lawyer for two US men convicted of spying in Iran said on Sunday their release could be delayed until Tuesday as the judge in the case was on vacation.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a US television interviewer last week that Shane Bauer, 28, and Josh Fattal, 29, would be freed in coming days in a humanitarian gesture ahead of his trip to the United Nations in New York.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
'Ahmadinejad insists Zionists started both World Wars'
Ahmadinejad says Iran to free US men jailed as spies


The Gulf State of Oman has sent a plane to Iran to pick up the Americans, a foreign ministry official said on Friday.

The men were arrested on the border with Iraq in 2009 where they said they were hiking. They were found guilty of illegal entry and espionage and were sentenced last month to eight years in prison.

The deal to release them still has to be signed off by Iran's judiciary, which said on Wednesday the release was not imminent, reflecting a rift between the country's ruling hardline elites .

Lawyer Masoud Shafie said he was seeking a signature from the judge to secure their freedom.

"We have to wait until Tuesday when the judge will be back, so that he can sign the documents," Shafie told Reuters.

He said last week the men would be released on $500,000 bail each. A third American, Sarah Shourd, was arrested with the men but was allowed home on $500,000 bail in September 2010.

Shourd's release was similarly delayed for several days by the judiciary after it had been announced.

Washington has denied the three Americans were spies and their supporters complain that no evidence against them has been made public. Their trial took place behind closed doors.

Ahmadinejad's announcement, to US media, that the men would be freed was seen by analysts as a bid to improve his international standing ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting which starts on Wednesday.

Neighboring Iraq said it has helped to mediate the release.

"I predict that before the visit of Dr. Ahmadinejad to New York, they will be freed," Nazem Dabbagh, the Iraqi envoy to Iran, told Reuters TV.

"Maybe (the timing of the release) is because Iran wants to show its good will while he is there, and for news to be hot and to be announced as the conference is taking place."

The Iraqi envoy said the detainees were expected to be handed over to the Swiss embassy in Iran, which represents US interests in Tehran.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan

By REUTERS