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U.S. hikers release from Iranian jail delayed due to judge's vacation

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Release of the two U.S. men arrested in Iran in 2009 on spying charges is delayed as a judge who must sign bail papers is on vacation, world media reported Sunday.

Release of the two U.S. men arrested in Iran in 2009 on spying charges is delayed as a judge who must sign bail papers is on vacation, world media reported Sunday.

Media said Tuesday that Iran would free the two men. Bauer and Fattal, who received eight-year prison sentences, were to be released this week on $500,000 bail each.

The prisoners' lawyer, Masoud Shafiei, could not complete the papers without the second judge's signature on them. The judge is expected to return from holidays on Tuesday, September 20. Another judge has already signed the papers on Saturday.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, together with Sarah Shourd, were arrested in July 2009 after straying into Iran while hiking near the border in Iraqi Kurdistan. They claim to have crossed the poorly marked border accidently. The young Americans, all graduates of the University of California at Berkeley, were charged with spying.

Sarah Shourd was freed on $500,000 bail in September 2010 and returned home.

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