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Verdict For Imprisoned Bay Area Hikers Expected This Week

TEHRAN, Iran (KCBS/AP) – The lawyer for two UC Berkeley graduates, who are in jail in Iran on espionage charges, said the court is expected to announce a verdict within a week

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been in jail for two years, after being captured in July 2009 hiking along the border with Iraq. Bauer's fiancée, Sarah Shourd, was also arrested, but she was released last September.

KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:

The Americans' lawyer, Masoud Shafiei, had hoped that Sunday's final court session would result in Bauer and Fattal's immediate release. The Americans have held steadfast in denying the espionage charges as they said they were only hiking in the scenic area of northern Iraq.

Shourd did not return to Iran for the trial, but told the CBS Early Show this weekend that she is still thinking positive thoughts for her fiancée and good friend.

"I was shown compassion and released. The judiciary was convinced that I was incapable of espionage," she said.

Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, said the months continue to drag on.

"Still today, two years later, when I think about it, it's still surreal," Hickey said.

Hickey said their lives have changed in ways they never could have imagined. They have given up jobs and battled nightmares, all while constantly keeping up the fight for Shane and Josh.

"I came into this two years ago with strong faith. Our families have been a big source of strength to each other," Hickey said.

The U.S. government has appealed for the two men to be released. The two countries have had no direct diplomatic relations, instead relying on an interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to follow the case.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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