The three Americans accused of espionage and illegal entry into Iran have pleaded "not guilty" yesterday at the opening of their trial in Tehran. Only two out of three Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, aged 28, detained in Tehran, appeared before the Revolutionary Court, which met behind closed doors. Their companion Sarah Shourd, 32, returned to the United States in September after being released for health reasons against bail of 500,000 dollars.
Ambassador of Switzerland - which represents U.S. interests in Iran - wanted to attend this hearing. "I decided to come on my own. The authorities did not allow me to attend the trial, "said Livia Leu Agosti.
The three Americans were arrested July 31, 2009 after Iranian territory, they say, mistakenly crossed the border during a hike in Iraqi Kurdistan. Washington denies the charge of espionage, demanding the release of its nationals.