Spying trial for pair of US hikers begins in Iran

Two Americans held in Iran for the last 18 months on suspicion of espionage pleaded not guilty in court yesterday on the first day of their closed-door trial, state television reported.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested on July 31, 2009, near Iran’s border with Iraq, along with a third American, Sarah Shourd, who was released on $500,000 bail in September and returned home.

The trio say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake. Under Iranian law, espionage can carry the death penalty.

State-run English language Press TV said the two men had appeared in court but that Shourd did not. All three pleaded not guilty of espionage and illegal entry.

No date has been set for the trial to resume. The proceedings were closed to the public and press.

The affair has compounded tension between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A trial date set for last November was postponed at the last minute due to the absence of Shourd.

Press TV quoted the Tehran prosecutor’s office as saying “it has ‘compelling evidence’ that three were cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies.”

The defense lawyer, who was barred from seeing his clients for four months before the trial, said he was confident the spying charge and even charges of illegal entry into Iran could be beaten. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

The Word

Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton fight over a…

Paris Hilton and Kelly Osbourne, both members of famous families and natives of the reality boom of the early aughts, should be great friends. And yet.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.