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Verdict for 2 Americans in Iran within a week

Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer are shown in this undated file photo. The two Americans were jailed July 2009 in Iran, charged with espionage.

July 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two American hikers jailed in Iran will have to wait to learn their fate, following a final hearing in the case Sunday.

Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Bauer's fiancee Sarah Shourd were arrested July 2009 on the Iran-Iraq border. They were all charged with espionage.

There were hopes that the two men might be released Sunday, but their lawyers said the court will announce its verdict within a week.

Shourd was released on $500,000 bail last year. All three have denied the charges, saying they were only hiking a scenic and largely peaceful area of northern Iraq near the Iranian border.

"We are pleased that today's hearing was the final session in the case and now hope for an outcome that will bring freedom for Shane and Josh," the hikers' families said in a prepared statement. "We pray that the Iranian authorities will show compassion to Shane and Josh and we ask everyone who supports them and cares for them to join us in beseeching the grace of God at this important time."

The U.S. government has appealed for the two men to be released, insisting that they have done nothing wrong. The two countries have no direct diplomatic relations, so Washington has been relying on an interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to follow the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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