IRAN: An Iranian-American journalist accused of espionage, detained in Iran since late January stands trialRecord ID: 313548
- Title: IRAN: An Iranian-American journalist accused of espionage, detained in Iran since late January stands trial
- Date: 16th April 2009
- Summary: TEHRAN, IRAN (APRIL 14, 2009) (REUTERS) IRANIAN JUDICIARY SPOKESMAN ALIREZA JAMSHIDI ENTERING THE NEWS CONFERENCE HALL WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE HALL REPORTERS TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN JUDICIARY SPOKESMAN ALIREZA JAMSHIDI SAYING: "I think the verdict will be announced soon, perhaps in the next two or three weeks." CAMERAMEN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN JUDICIARY SPOKESMAN ALIREZA JAMSHIDI SAYING: "Giving an opinion on a case, by an individual or a government, without being informed about the facts in it is utterly ridiculous." REPORTERS ASKING OF JAMSHIDI TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
- Reuters ID: LVAC4WKF68IOV4SQXQAKSR3MWC2P
- Duration: 00:00:46
- Topics: Legal System
- Story Text: The first trial meeting on Roxana Saberi was held yesterday, the judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told a news conference.
"I think the verdict will be announced soon, perhaps in the next two or three weeks," Jamshidi told reporter.
Jamshidi added Saberi, 31, had submitted the last defence on her case.
She was arrested in January for working in Iran after her press credentials had expired.
Iranian media last week said Saberi, who was born in the United States and has reported for the BBC, National Public Radio and other media, had been charged with espionage on behalf of the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has demanded her immediate release.
The new U.S. administration of President Barack Obama is trying to reach out to the Islamic Republic, offering a "new beginning" of engagement after three decades of mutual mistrust.
Under Iran's penal code, espionage can carry the death penalty. Last November Iran executed an Iranian businessman convicted of spying on the military for Israel.
The United States has called on Iran to free her, saying the charges against her were "baseless and without foundation."
Freedom House, a U.S. human rights group, last week said the case was the latest in a string of attacks on press freedom in Iran, which rejects such accusations.
Jamshidi said, "Giving an opinion on a case, by an individual or a government, without being informed about the facts in it is utterly ridiculous."
Iran's deputy prosecutor for security issues, Hassan Haddad, was quoted last week as saying that Saberi had confessed to taking part in espionage activities.
Washington cut ties with Tehran shortly after the Islamic revolution in 1979, but Obama has offered to extend a hand of peace if Iran "unclenches its fist".
Iran says it wants to see real change in Washington's policies, away from those of former President George W. Bush, who led a drive to isolate Tehran because of nuclear work the West suspects has military aims, a charge Iran denies.
Saberi's parents visited her in Tehran's Evin jail on April 6, after arriving from the United States. Evin is a jail where rights groups say political prisoners are usually taken.
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