Iran Accuses American Hikers of Espionage

Opinion on 3 arrested in July 'in the not distant future:' prosecutor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 9, 2009 8:23 AM CST
Detained American hikers Shane Bauer, left, and Sarah Shourd.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The three American hikers detained by Iran in July have been accused of espionage, a senior Iranian prosecutor says. The three, who the US maintains were on a hiking vacation in Iraq when they accidentally strayed across the poorly-marked border, "have been accused" and the investigation is ongoing, he says, adding that an "opinion will be given in the not distant future."

It is not clear from the prosecutor's comments today whether formal charges have been filed. In Iran's opaque judicial system, the process of charging and trial can often take place behind closed doors. The three Americans were arrested July 31 after crossing the Iranian border from northern Iraq.