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Deal to free 2 Americans jailed in Iran hits snag

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

September 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two American hikers jailed in Iran may now be waiting on a piece paperwork to gain their release.

Masoud Shafiei, a lawyer for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, said Sunday that the bail papers to release his clients need the signature of a second judge. That judge is on vacation until Tuesday. One judge already signed the papers Saturday.

All the Americans can do now is wait.

Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were sentenced last month to eight years in prison for spying and illegally entering Iran. They deny the charges. They were detained along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 with their friend Sarah Shourd. She was released last September with mediation by the Gulf nation of Oman after $500,000 was paid.

The three said they were just hiking in Iraq's scenic north and may have mistakenly crossed an unmarked border with Iran.

Shafiei has been working on a deal to have the two men freed on $500,000 dollars bail each.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.