Lawyer: U.S. hikers may go free soon
A lawyer for two American hikers held in Iran for more than two years told CNN on Saturday that Iranian authorities are close to signing documents that could mean the two men are released on bail from Tehran's Evin prison.
Masoud Shafiee, attorney for Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, said he was "very hopeful" they might be released Saturday.
On Tuesday, the lawyer raised hopes that the pair might soon be freed. Shafiee said the two men could be released after a $500,000 bail was paid for each of them.
Shafiee said Saturday he had spoken to a judge in the case who had explained that two judges' signatures were needed on documents to show that bail had been posted.
"Judge Ebadi told me that the court will call me as soon as the other judge signs the documents," Shafiee told CNN.
The lawyer would then need to go to the court to see the signed documents and himself sign a paper to that effect, Shafiee said, "and then hopefully the release procedure will begin."
Asked if the release might happen Saturday, he answered: "Anything is possible. I am very hopeful that it will be today."
The two men and a third hiker, Sarah Shourd, were seized in July 2009, while hiking in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, after apparently straying across an unmarked border between Iraq and Iran.Iranian authorities arrested them, claiming they were spies and had entered the country illegally. Shourd, who is now Bauer's fiancee, was released last year for medical reasons, although authorities said her case remains open.
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