While Iran’s Minister of Intelligence announced on Thursday that there is definitive evidence that the three imprisoned American hikers were cooperating with US intelligence organizations, promising to share the evidence with the media, their lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the only evidence in his clients’ file is their illegal border crossing and charges such as espionage are unfounded.
Refuting charges such as espionage in his clients’ case, Massoud Shafie told the Campaign: “I have spoken with the case judge and the charge in the case is specifically “illegal border crossing.” We do not have any new laws for illegal border crossing and therefore, the old process will have to be observed in which a cash penalty is stipulated.” Shafie also said that it is very rare that an individual receives imprisonment as punishment for illegal entry. He added: “Only if the issue [of illegal border crossing] is related to another charge, may it receive imprisonment as punishment, and usually, such issues are dealt with through cash penalties. But the main point here is that the charge of espionage is being used inappropriately in this case. Illegal crossing is punished by cash penalties.”
Referring to earlier statements of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the exchange of the three prisoners with Iranian prisoners in the US, lawyer for the three American hikers said: “The specific charge made against my clients is ill… >>>