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Three judges to hear Saberi appeal: Source

Press TV - The head of the Tehran Judiciary says three judges are likely to preside over the appeal court of a convicted Iranian-American journalist.

Alireza Avaei told ISNA news agency on Friday that considering the calls by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Judiciary chief Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, at least two or three judges would preside at Roxana Saberi's appeal court.

Reza Saberi, father of Iranian-American journalist Roxana, and his Japanese wife Akiko are currently in Tehran pursuing the fate of their daughter.

Saberi, 31, is a freelance journalist who was sentenced to eight years imprisonment on charges of spying for the United States government.

President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Shahroudi have called for a fair appeal court for Saberi.

Saberi is currently assisted by one lawyer, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, while Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi is expected to join her defense team.

Avaei on Friday reiterated that the Saberi case would be thoroughly processed to ensure a "strong and fair" ruling.

The White House has called for the speedy release of Saberi where President Barack Obama has said that "she is an American citizen, and I have complete confidence that she was not engaging in any sort of espionage."

Saberi, who reported for the BBC, NPR, and Fox News during her six-year stay in Iran, was arrested in February for working "illegally" as a journalist after her press card was revoked in 2006.

Acclaimed Iran Director Says 'Saberi Is My Fiancee'

The high-profile case of a young Iranian-American woman sentenced by Iran to a lengthy prison term for alleged espionage took an unexpected twist when an acclaimed Iranian filmmaker stepped forward to vouch for her innocence and say his "fiancee and companion" had stayed in the country at his urging.

... Payvand News - 04/24/09 ... --

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