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Families Of American Hikers Jailed In Iran Upset By Trial Delay

FILE: Josh Fattal appears before a judge in Tehran in Feb. 2011

FILE: Josh Fattal appears before a judge in Tehran in Feb. 2011

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Authorities in Iran yesterday delayed trial for a Montgomery County man and another hiker who are charged with spying. It’s another disappointment for their families.

“All charges, we feel, are ridiculous and absurd.”

Laura Fattal has been pleading for her son’s release since July of 2009, when Josh, an Elkins Park, Pa. native, and friends Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested along Iran’s unmarked border with Iraq.

Iran says they were spying, not simply hiking as the trio’s families, the US government, and their Iranian lawyer maintain.

Shourd is out on bail; she says the saga’s left her with post-traumatic stress.

Laura Fattal says the families were given no explanation for the trial delay.

“There was a thought that at the conclusion of the court, they would be freed. And this is what we were hoping. And that is why today is so miserable.”

No independent source has seen Fattal or Bauer in months, adding to the agony and helplessness the families feel for the health and welfare of their 28-year-olds.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio