Iran fines detained German reporters USD 50,000

The report said the court had initially sentenced Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch to 20 months in prison for acting against "national security" but then commuted the sentence to the fine.

The pair work for Bild am Sonntag and were arrested on October 10 in the northwestern city of Tabriz for interviewing the son and lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Quoting a judiciary statement, ISNA said trial hearings were held for the two men and that, after "examining the accusation of acting against national security, they were sentenced to a 20-month jail term."

"But because of their special situation and it is clear that they were used by one of the others accused in this case, it was felt that they deserved Islamic compassion and commuting of the sentence ... from 20 months in prison to 500 million rials (around 50,000 dollars) fine for each."
It was unclear whether the two are now free to go home.

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