Roxana Saberi was released on Monday after more than four
months imprisonment at
Nikbakht told CPJ that his client had been found guilty of
spying for a "hostile country," the
He said the defense team presented its case in about three hours and that his client defended herself well. "She told the judges that during interrogations she had been told that if she tells them 'the truth,' she will be released very soon, otherwise she will 'get old in prison,' " Nikbakht said.
The prosecutor defended the conviction and asked the judges to uphold it because Saberi had "confessed to the charges," Nikbakht said. Defense lawyers argued that the confession had been coerced and not put in writing, Nikbakht said. There was no further evidence of a confession, he said.
The hearing focused on a research paper on U.
Nikbakht said the prosecutor argued that Saberi had "access to classified information," which the defense team rejected, saying that there was nothing in the paper to suggest that it was confidential.
Saberi told the judges she had picked the paper at a public conference in
The hearing lasted about five hours, Nikbakht said.
The next day, the court issued its decision: The espionage
sentence was overturned, but Saberi was given a two-year suspended jail term
for "having classified information," Nikbakht said. The ruling also "bans her
from practicing journalism in