Trial of U.S. hikers in Iran delayed again
Shane Bauer (left) and Josh Fattal have been detained in Iran since their arrest during a 2009 hiking trip near the Iranian border.
May 11th, 2011
09:54 AM ET

Trial of U.S. hikers in Iran delayed again

The scheduled trial of two Americans accused of espionage in Iran was delayed again Wednesday after the suspects were not brought from prison to the courthouse, a Swiss diplomat and their defense attorney told CNN.

"I have been able to verify that the session has actually been postponed due to the absence of the two prisoners. They were not brought in from prison," said an official with the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, who, according to protocol, asked not to be identified. Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were set to stand trial on Wednesday. The two were charged with espionage after being arrested nearly 22 months ago while hiking along an unmarked border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan. The two Americans were expected to appear in Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary court Wednesday morning.

"There were no reasons given why they were not brought in," the diplomat said. Iranian authorities once again barred Swiss diplomats from monitoring the proceedings.

"Shane and Josh were not brought up from the jail to the courtroom today," said defense attorney Masoud Shafii. He said he also does not know the reason for the postponement, but does not believe it was because a third hiker released on bail, Sarah Shourd, did not return to Iran for proceedings.

The families of Bauer and Fattal said in a statement they also do not know why the two were not brought to court, "but we are even more deeply concerned for their health and welfare as a result of their non-appearance.

"Their unexplained absence from the hearing, and the fact that their lawyer, Mr. Masoud Shafii, continues to be denied access to Shane and Josh, is extremely troubling," the statement said.

The last time Fattal and Bauer appeared in court, Swiss diplomats and the prisoners' defense attorney also were not allowed into the courtroom. The hikers' trial began in February, but was delayed until Wednesday.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Why do we bother being political with these small, insignificant nations? Just go in and get our people out and be done with it.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • 14Susan508

      Why should we bail these morons out? They deserve whatever happens to them. NO citizens from the USA should be put in harms way to save these idiots.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    Iran it is time to put up or let them go.Prove it. I just wonder why our government will not force the issue. The people of iranian decent need to push the Iranian government to put it to trial or let them go.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. IKHAN

    @ 14 Susan508
    I quite agree .What sane folks would chose Iraq as a place to go hiking? And then drift over to Iran ?
    What would we do if we caught a couple of Iranians wandering in from Mexico?

    @ Robert
    get your facts straight. Iran is neither small nor insignificant. Its a power to reckon with in tha region. We have to tread carefully when dealing with them.
    I wouldn't want our troops bogged down in Iranian sands after Iraq & Afghanistan and a single one losing life.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jj

    hey! anyone wanna go for a hike in iran? i think not. either they are extremely stupid or they are spies. i think the latter fits better. just a thought...

    May 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fred

    Hey Iran,
    Ur next. U love to kill and torture. U will pay heavy for it.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |