Female U.S. citizen to be released on bail: Tehran prosecutor

TEHRAN, Sept. 12 (MNA) -- Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced on Sunday that U.S. citizen Sarah Shourd will be released on bail due to the detainee’s poor health.

Based on reports and the confirmation of the presiding judge about the health condition of Ms. Shourd, she has been granted an Islamic clemency on a bail of around $500,000, and if the bail is deposited, she will be released, Dolatabadi told reporters.

Shourd’s lawyer, Masoud Shafii, told the Associated Press that the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which houses the U.S. Interests Section in Iran, was making arrangements for the bail payment.

Dolatabadi said an indictment against Shourd and two other U.S. citizens currently held in Iran has been issued and their case is ready to be submitted to a court.

He added that Shourd must attend the court session on the case.

The announcement came a day after Dolatabadi rejected a plan by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release Shourd at the end of the holy month of Ramadan as a goodwill gesture. Ramadan ended on September 9 this year.

At the time, the prosecutor general argued that the legal procedures of the case had not been completed.

Shourd, 32, along with Shane Bauer, 28, and Joshua Fattal, 28, were arrested on July 31, 2009 by Iranian border guards after illegally entering Iran’s territory from Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The three have been charged with illegal entry and espionage.

Asked about the espionage charges against the U.S. nationals, Dolatabadi said there were ample reasons to accuse the three of espionage.

“The fact that they entered the country illegally and across the Kurdistan border has been established. In addition, the equipment and supplies they were carrying could only be used for spying purposes,” he added.

On the status of Bauer and Fattal, Dolatabadi said the Judiciary has extended their temporary arrest and thus they will remain in prison.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he criticized the way the news reporting about Shourd’s case has been handled, especially since the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office rejected the reports claiming that she would be released on Thursday.

“Some officials pressured a number of media outlets not to cover the news from the Prosecutor’s Office on the matter, and this is illegal,” he added.

HJ/HG
END
MNA
 

News Code 41814

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