Lawyer: Trial Of 3 Americans To Start On Time

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian lawyer representing three Americans accused by Tehran of spying says he is ready for the start of their trial.

Their families say the Americans were just intrepid travelers out on a hike in northern Iraq’s scenic Kurdish region when they were arrested on July 31, 2009.

Attorney Masoud Shafiei told The Associated Press on Saturday that he doesn’t know whether the only woman among the three, Sarah Shourd, would return to Iran for the trial or if she would be tried in absentia.

Shourd was released on bail in September and returned to the United States.

Shafiei says he hopes to be allowed to meet the two other defendants — Shourd’s fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal, both still imprisoned in Iran — before the trial starts on Sunday morning.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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