Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today he will request leniency for three American hikers who apparently strayed across Iran's border. Ahmadinejad said the Americans broke the law, and "we're not happy that this happened." He added, "What I can ask is that the judiciary expedites the process and gives it its full attention, and to basically look at the case with maximum leniency."
"The judiciary has its own procedures to follow, but I'm hopeful." He did not elaborate. Ahmadinejad spoke in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Families of the imprisoned hikers have said they hope Ahmadinejad's visit to New York might yield a breakthrough in the case. Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd have been held for 52 days since they apparently strayed into Iran while hiking in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region in July.