Ahmadinejad Plans to Pardon, Release Hikers

Iran president hopes they can return home 'in a couple days'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2011 6:28 AM CDT
Updated Sep 13, 2011 7:56 AM CDT
American Hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal Could Be Pardoned, Released This Week: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 file photo, US hikers Shane Bauer, left, and Josh Fattal, attend their trail at the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Iran.   (AP Photo/Press TV, File)

(Newser) – More than two years after they were jailed on charges of spying, American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal may finally be headed home. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells the Washington Post he will grant a “unilateral pardon” to the two men, and that he is working to arrange for their release and return home “in a couple of days.” Asked if it will definitely happen this week, the president replied, “I hope so.”

Meanwhile, a defense attorney tells the AP that Iran set bail at $500,000 for each of the two men, and will free them once bail is paid. Bail was set at that amount for the third jailed hiker, Sarah Shourd, before her release last year. Last month, Bauer and Fattal were sentenced to eight years, a ruling their lawyer vowed to appeal. (Read more hikers Iran stories.)

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