Remaining Hikers Get Trial Date

Sunday, Nov 21, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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Remaining Hikers Get Trial Date

ASSOCIATED PRESS

FILE - In this May 20, 2010, file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Sarah Shourd, center, and Josh Fattal, sit at the Esteghlal Hotel in Tehran, Iran. The mothers of three Americans detained on Iran since last July 31, are again pleading for their release as the one-year anniversary of their capture approaches. The mothers on Thursday July 15, 2010 released a letter they sent to the head of Iran's judiciary. (AP Photo/Press TV, File)

According to the lawyer who represents the two remaining U.S. hikers being held in Iran, a trial date has been set for the pair.

The Cal grads will go to trial in Iran the first week of February.  They, along with a third Bay Area woman who has since been set free, were arrested more than a year ago along the Iraqi border and charged with spying.
     
The Associated Press reports the trail would have already been underway, but authorities said they delayed it because Sarah Shroud, who was freed on bail, had not been summoned to return to the country to appear in court.
     
The case is among the many points of confrontation between Iran and the United States, which has repeatedly appealed for the Americans to be released.

Their lawyer, Masoud Shafiei, said he received an official notification Sunday of the new trial date.

Shourd was freed in September and returned to the United States. Her fiance, Shane Bauer, and their friend Josh Fattal remain in prison.

Shourd has repeatedly denied they did anything wrong. After her release, Shourd said they were hiking in a scenic and relatively peaceful part of northern Iraq and inadvertently crossed an unmarked border with Iran when they were arrested in July 2009.
     
Iranian authorities said they freed Shourd as a humanitarian gesture because of unspecified health concerns, though the woman has since said her health is fine.

Iran warned that it will seize the $500,000 bail posted by Shourd if she does not return for trial.

The 32-year-old Shourd, from Oakland, California, has not disclosed any plans to return to Iran.

The three Americans are graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. Shourd and Bauer had been living together in Damascus, Syria, where Bauer was working as a freelance journalist and Shourd as an English teacher. Fattal, an environmental activist, went to visit them in July 2009.

Bauer is a native of Onamia, Minnesota, and Fattal grew up in Pennsylvania.
 

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