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Iran holds trial session for US trio (PHOTO)

Iran Materials 7 February 2011 07:09 (UTC +04:00)
The opening session of the trial of three US nationals detained in Iran for illegal entry and charged with espionage has wrapped up in Tehran, Press TV reported.
Iran holds trial session for US trio (PHOTO)

The opening session of the trial of three US nationals detained in Iran for illegal entry and charged with espionage has wrapped up in Tehran, Press TV reported.

The trial, which heard the charges brought against Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, was held behind closed doors in Tehran's Revolution Court on Sunday.

Shourd was not present at the first session of the trial; however, her lawyer submitted a statement on her behalf.

The three have pleaded not guilty.

Bauer and Fattal, both 27, along with Shourd, 31, were arrested on Iranian territory in July 2009 after illegally crossing the border from the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Iran released Shourd on a bail of $500,000 in September 2010, 14 months after her arrest. The decision was made because of the detainee's health condition and based on humanitarian grounds.

They were later charged with espionage after Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi found "compelling evidence" that the three US citizens had actually been cooperating with US intelligence agencies.

In an interview with Press TV on Sunday, Jafari-Dolatabadi said that crimes related to espionage are dealt with seriously in all countries, adding that the prosecutor must investigate the case accurately and comprehensively.

"How they were arrested, what document they had, what they wanted to do, and what secret motives they had... all these made Tehran's Prosecutor General's Office to investigate more," the official said.

He also said he would look into allegations by the defendants' lawyer that he had been denied access to his clients.

The trial will continue but no date has been set for the next court session.

Photo - www.presstv.ir

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