U.S. hikers' trial in Iran delayed

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Tehran, Nov 7 (ANI): Iranian authorities have delayed the trial of two Americans arrested near the Iraqi border in July 2009 on espionage charges, after they failed to appear at the hearing on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Masoud Shafii, the lawyer representing two young Americans, as saying that everything was in place for a long-scheduled court hearing except the presence of Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer.

He said that "we waited for 45 minutes, but the two hikers were not brought from Section 209 of Evin Prison," and added that the judge told him he would be informed later of a trial date.

The duo is being held in Tehran's Evin Prison. They were arrested in July 2009 for allegedly straying into Iranian territory during a hiking trip in Iraqi Kurdistan.

After a third American, Sarah Shourd, was freed on bail in September, Iranian authorities said the other two would stand trial Saturday.

Earlier in the week, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary said he doubted the hearing would take place, and claimed of hearing from unknown sources that authorities want freed American Sarah Shourd, who was released earlier on health grounds, to return to Iran to stand trial. (ANI)

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