Reuters: Iran wants Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans arrested in 2009 on spying charges, to return from the United States to stand trial in May, her lawyer was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran wants Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans arrested in 2009 on spying charges, to return from the United States to stand trial in May, her lawyer was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Sarah Shourd was released on $500,000 bail last September while her two male companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, remain in jail in Tehran.
They appeared in court for the first time in February and pleaded not guilty but Shourd did not appear.
The next hearing is set for May 11. Lawyer Masoud Shafiee told official news agency IRNA a subpoena had been sent to Shourd through Iran’s Foreign Ministry but he did not expect her to appear.
“In the court notice which I received as their lawyer, the presence of Sarah Shourd has been considered mandatory,” he said. “In the phone conversation that I had with Ms Shourd, she told me she had gathered more evidence and proof for being innocent and will present it as defense to the court.”
“The possibility of her attending the second court session which is due on May 11 at 10 a.m. local time (0530 GMT)… is not much,” he added.
The trio, in their late 20s and early 30s, 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.
The case has further complicated relations between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the occupation of the U.S. embassy by revolutionary students.
(Writing by Ramin Mostafavi; Editing by Maria Golovnina)