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Iran frees US hikers (UPDATE)

Iran Materials 21 September 2011 15:32
The Appellation Court of Tehran Province issued a decree to accept $500,000 bail [per one] for release of two convicted U.S citizens.
Iran frees US hikers (UPDATE)

The lawyers' statement was added after the second paragraph (first version posted at 15:18)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 21 /Trend T.Konyayeva, T.Jafarov/

The Appellation Court of Tehran Province issued a decree to accept $500,000 bail [per one] for release of two convicted U.S citizens, Mehr News Agency reported.

Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer are awaiting for the Court's final decision on their complete release. They will be completely freed after the final decision comes out.

Masoud Shafee, the law defender of the two Americans, told in the interview with ISNA that the two convicted US citizens will leave the Evin prison at 15:00 local time (GTM +4:30).

The bail has been provided by the Oman government, he added.

Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd were detained in 2009 after crossing an unmarked stretch of the Iran-Iraq border. They were charged by Iran's Revolutionary Court with illegally crossing the border and espionage and sentenced to eight-year prison terms.

Shourd was released in September, 2010 on health grounds after posting 500,000 dollars in bail by Oman, and returned to the United States.

Last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told NBC News that two American nationals would be freed by the end of the week. Then, Iran's Revolutionary Court agreed to release two U.S. citizens under $500,000 bail for each.

However, Iran's Judiciary had refuted media reports on their release.

On Sept. 15, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani held talks with the Iranian top officials on the release of these two. After the talks, the Iranian side agreed to hand over them to the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents U.S. interests in Iran.

Later, CNN reported that the Sultanate of Oman was involved again in brokering the release of Fattal and Bauer.

Shafee has failed to obtain on Sunday the second, key signature on bail arrangements for a possible release of his clients. The second judge who was supposed to sign the paperwork on the bail deal was on vacation until Tuesday.

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