US reporter Rezaian's espionage trial to resume in Iran on June 8

Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been held behind bars in Tehran for more than a year, accused of espionage (AFP Photo/)
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Tehran (AFP) - The second hearing in the Iran espionage trial of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian will be held on Monday, Isna news agency has quoted his lawyer Leila Ahsan as saying.

The trial of the 39-year-old Iranian-American began behind closed doors on May 26 in Branch 15 of the Tehran revolutionary court, which usually presides over political cases or those related to national security.

At the first session, which last about three hours, Rezaian was presented with the charges against him, including espionage, said MizanOnline, a news agency linked to the judiciary.

Rezaian is also due to answer allegations of "collecting confidential information", "cooperating with hostile governments" and "propaganda against the regime".

Ahsan on Wednesday confirmed the date of the second hearing to AFP, but gave no further details. Iranian law forbids revealing information about closed door trials.

However, she repeated that there is "no proof" against her client.

The reporter's brother has dismissed the charges against him as "laughable", and the Washington Post's executive director, Martin Baron, has said that "the fate of a good, innocent man hangs in the balance".

The United States said it was monitoring the case "as closely as possible".

"While we call for this trial to be open, we also maintain that Jason should never have been detained or put on trial in the first place," National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said on May 26.

Tehran does not recognise dual nationality, and says the case is a purely Iranian matter.

Rezaian's wife Yeganeh Salehi, who worked for the English-language newspaper The National based in Abu Dhabi, was arrested along with him in July last year but released on bail after spending two and a half months in custody.

An unidentified woman photographer arrested on the same day as the couple was also released on bail.

A date for the trial of the two women journalists is not yet known.

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