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Nov 9, 2009 11:23 AM by Associated Press

Iran accuses 3 Americans of espionage

A senior Iranian prosecutor says three Americans detained on the border with Iraq have been accused of espionage.

Tehran's chief prosecutor says the three "have been accused" and that investigations were continuing, according to the state news agency IRNA. He said an "opinion" on their case will come "in the not distant future."

It is not clear from his comments whether formal charges had been filed. In Iran's opaque judicial system, the process of charging and trial can often take place behind closed doors. The three Americans were arrested July 31 after straying over the Iranian border from northern Iraq.

The U.S. government and their families say there were on a hiking vacation and crossed accidentally.

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