Verdict expected soon in Saberi spy trial

April 16, 2009 at 5:38 PM

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- A verdict in the Iranian espionage trial of U.S. freelance journalist Roxana Saberi is expected soon, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

"We're able to confirm that Roxana Saberi went on trial in Iran earlier this week," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said during a media briefing. "And we understand that the verdict is expected soon."

The United States is concerned about the situation surrounding Saberi's detention and "we're working hard to secure (her) release," he said. The United States is working through the Swiss in this effort.

"These charges, as I said yesterday, are baseless, without foundation," he said. "And we've been very concerned about the transparency of this judicial process."

Saberi, who was born in the United States but also has an Iranian passport, was detained initially for buying alcohol, which is prohibited in Iran. Iran revoked her press card in 2006 for unspecified reasons.

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