Iran to release one of three UK hikers held for over a year for 500,000 dollars bail money

Posted By: Nairita Das
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London, Sept 13 (ANI): Iran's chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, has said that one of the three American hikers, Sarah Shourd, held in the Evin prison for over a year on spying charges, would be released for 500,000 dollars in bail money on grounds of illness.

Dolatabadi made the offer after a weekend of confusion, which occurred because of the conflict between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had backed the release, and a faction who opposed him inside Iran's conservative elite, that controls the judiciary.

"For the female defendant, bail has been set at five billion Iranian rials (about 500,000 dollars). She can be freed by posting the bail," The Telegraph quoted Dolatabadi, as saying.

Her lawyer, Masoud Shafii, said that she might be released overnight.

Shourd, who had previously been diagnosed as suffering from a lump in her breast and pre-cancerous cervical cells, would be would be freed while detention orders against her fiance, Shane Bauer, and friend Josh Fattal, have been renewed for two months, pending a trial.

"It has been proven that they illegally entered through the Kurdistan border. Also the equipment and supplies they were carrying are only used for spying," Dolatabadi added.

Iran had earlier declared that Shourd would be released as a goodwill gesture to mark Eid al-Fitr, the festival ending the Muslim Ramadan but later held back because legal procedures were not complete.

Tehran accused the trio of espionage and illegally crossing the border, charges that they, their families and supporters have categorically denied. (ANI)

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