PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a year and a half behind bars in Iran, the trial of three Americans accused of spying began Sunday in a closed-door courtroom in Tehran.
Two of the Americans, Montgomery County native Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, appeared in court. The third, Bauer’s fiancée Sarah Shourd, was released on bail last September and did not show up for the trial.
Eyewitness News spoke with Fattal’s mother in November. At the time, she had just heard from her son for the first time in months.
“I just started speaking ‘I love you. We all love you. We can’t wait to see you. Be assured, everyone is working full-time to get you home, and you’re coming home,’” recalled Laura Fattal.
The court banned any observers from the trial. A lawyer for the defendants said Iranian law prevented him from revealing anything about the hearing. The spying charges could bring up to 10 years in prison for the Americans. Fattal’s brother, Alex, has lobbied for Josh Fattal’s release from the start. He said the isolation is getting worse.
“For some reason, it seems that the isolation is even increasing and that’s very, very worrying,” said Fattal in November.
The lawyer for the Americans said he is hoping the trial ends quickly. Family members of Fattal and Bauer hope it ends with their sons at home.
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Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3