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Iran paperwork delays U.S. hikers' release

Sept. 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM

TEHRAN, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Two U.S. hikers who paid $1 million bail won't be freed from prison in Iran because a judge is on vacation until Tuesday, their lawyer said Sunday.

A day earlier, lawyer Masoud Shafiee told reporters both Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer had each posted $500,000 bail to be released amid charges of spying and it was simply a matter of two judges signing off the bail arrangement. One judge signed the documents Saturday, he said.

However, it emerged Sunday the only Iranian judge who could countersign the release agreement was out of town on vacation until Tuesday, CNN reported.

Fattal, Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested in July 2009. The three were on a hiking trip in neighboring Iraq and told Iranian authorities they didn't realize they had crossed the unmarked border.

They were arrested, charged with spying and jailed. Shourd was released last year for undisclosed medical reasons although she still faces charges, the report said.

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