Jailed reporter can appeal conviction

TEHRAN, April 24 (UPI) — The head of Tehran’s judiciary says a three-judge panel will issue a “strong and fair” ruling in the case of jailed Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi.saberi

Saberi, 31, was arrested in February, initially on charges of working without a press card, then of buying alcohol, and finally of espionage and was sentenced last week to eight years in an Iranian prison.

The head of Tehran’s judiciary Alireza Avasei says Saberi will have an opportunity to appeal her conviction on spy charges. She said both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the head of the nation’s judiciary, Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, have called for a fair hearing for Saberi, Iran’s Press TV reported Friday.

Saberi is being defended by Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, while Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has joined her defense team.

During her six years in Iran, Saberi reported for the BBC, NPR and Fox News while researching Iranian culture for a book she is writing.

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