Iran FM Hopes Judges Will Expedite Hikers Case

GENEVA (AP) — Iran’s top diplomat says he hopes his country’s judiciary will expedite the case of two Americans charged with spying.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters in Geneva he hopes the case of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal will “come to an end in the not too far future.”

Salehi compared the case to that of two detained German journalists who were released last week after Germany’s foreign minister traveled to Iran to ask for their release.

He declined to say whether such a humanitarian release might be possible for Bauer and Fattal.

The two were hiking in northern Iraq with a third American, Sarah Shourd, near the Iranian border in July 2009 when Iranian forces took them into custody. Shourd was released last September and pleaded not guilty in absentia.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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