By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:25PM BST 11 May 2009
Roxana Saberi, an American journalist convicted in Iran on spying charges, is to be freed after an appeals court downgraded her sentence.
Lawyers for the 32-year old said the court had reduced the eight-year jail sentence to a suspended two-year term and she would soon be freed.
The Iranian-American television reporter had lived in Iran for six years before she was charged with “cooperating with a hostile state” after her arrest in January. The harsh sentence provoked an international backlash that prompted Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to express concern that she had received due process. After his intervention the head of the Iranian judicary asked for the appeal court review.
“The verdict of the previous court has been quashed,” lawyer Saleh Nikbakht said. “Her punishment has been changed to a suspended two-year sentence and she will be out of prison.”
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