Verdict within a week for Europeans held in Iran

6th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, Jan 5 (AFP) - An Iranian court said Thursday that it would give its verdict within a week in the case of a French skipper and his German client accused of illegally entering territorial waters in November, one of their lawyers said.

TEHRAN, Jan 5 (AFP) -  An Iranian court said Thursday that it would give its verdict within a week in the case of a French skipper and his German client accused of illegally entering territorial waters in November, one of their lawyers said.

"The verdict will be delivered within a week," Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, counsel for the detained German, told AFP by telephone from the Gulf port of Bandar Abbas after a five-and-a-half-hour preliminary hearing.

During the session, the two men, who have been detained for more than a month, explained that they "never intended to penetrate Iranian territorial waters," the lawyer said.

"They were out fishing and only realised that they had strayed too far when they were arrested."

Neither the Iranian authorities nor the two mens' governments have released their names, although the German has been identified as Donald Klein in media reports at home.

Their disappearance was first reported by Klein's wife on November 29 when he failed to return from a fishing trip while on holiday in the United Arab Emirates just across the Gulf.

A source close to the case in Paris said "the French skipper was using charts drawn up in the United Arab Emirates (which has a territorial dispute with Iran) and was not aware they were violating Iranian territorial waters orentering a disputed area."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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