Woman Hiker Freed From Iran Prison - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Woman Hiker Freed From Iran Prison

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian authorities released American Sarah Shourd on Tuesday from the Iranian prison where she has been held since July 2009, her lawyer told CNN.

Masoud Shafii said he was with Shourd when she was released from Evin Prison and that bail had been posted.

Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told state-run television that Shourd's "representatives" paid her bail -- set at $500,000 -- to an Iranian bank in Muscat, Oman, after which a judge ordered her release Tuesday.

"We decided to set her free with a $500,000 bail out.... It was paid in Muscat. She can leave Iran if she wants to," Dolatabadi said.

A diplomat at the Swiss embassy told Press TV that Shourd would be leaving Iran later Tuesday but her travel plans were not immediately clear. The United States and Iran do not have formal relations, and Switzerland serves as the "protecting power" for Washington in Tehran.

Shourd, 32, was detained along with fellow U.S. citizens Shane Bauer, 28, and Josh Fattal, 28, after they allegedly strayed across an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The three were accused of spying, a charge the United States denies.

Dolatabadi said Tuesday that Bauer, who is Shourd's fiance, and Fattal will remain in jail until their trial.

Iran had said Shourd would be freed once the $500,000 bail was paid. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made it clear Washington would play no role in paying the bail.

A judge decided to allow Shourd to be released on bail because of her medical condition, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday, citing Dolatabadi.

Shourd had a pre-existing gynecological problem, and her family says she now also has a lump in her breast, according to Shafii.

Iranian officials have apparently changed their stance on Shourd's release several times since last week. Iranian officials had announced Thursday that Shourd would be released on Saturday, at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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