PRISON

Confusion Over Iran Hikers' Bail

Iran is taking its time in freeing two Americans sentenced to eight years in prison for alleged espionage. One judge has signed the bail application, but a second judge failed to appear in court, and it's not clear when—or if—he will do so. Iran's foreign minister said Saturday that the courts are willing "in the near future" to commute the hikers' sentences. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said the Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, would be released in a “couple of days.” But Iran's judiciary has contradicted the statement, saying the bail would have to be reviewed. Bail is set at $500,000 each. The two Americans were arrested in July 2009 along with a third hiker, Sarah Shourd, who has since been freed.