Iran's Revolutionary Court announced today that a verdict will be issued within one week regarding the arrest of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, Americans who were captured hiking near the Iran-Iraq border with their friend Sarah Shourd two years ago.
Today marks the second anniversary of their arrest.
The Muslim tradition of pardoning prisoners for the holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week, is thought by some to be a good omen for their release.
"...We have very high hopes. This gives us hope that the trial will be the end of this nightmare," said Shourd to ABC News "This Week."
But when no outside cameras were allowed in the courtroom this morning, that was thought to be a bad sign.
"We have heard from Shane and Josh's lawyer, Mr. Masoud Shafii, that the judge announced in court that he will issue his verdict within one week. Mr. Shafii said Shane and Josh both appeared to be well and in good spirits. They again testified to their innocence, both verbally and in writing, and their lawyer had the opportunity to present their defense. The hearing lasted for about four hours," said Fattal and Bauer's families in a statement.
"We are pleased that today's hearing was the final session in the case and now hope for an outcome that will bring freedom for Shane and Josh. We pray that the Iranian authorities will show compassion to Shane and Josh and we ask everyone who supports them and cares for them to join us in beseeching the grace of God at this important time. The coming days fill us with great hope but they will also be difficult for our families. We ask the media to understand that we do not plan to make any further comment at this time," the statement read.
Shourd rallied with the Fattal and Bauer's families outside of the Iranian mission in New York City on Friday, hoping to convince the Iranian government to set them free.
"Shane and Josh are two innocent men, two compassionate, beautiful people. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be standing here today," said Shourd.
Fattal, Bauer and Bauer's now fiancé, Shourd, were arrested in July 2009. They have denied the Iranian charges of espionage, insisting they were only hiking, not spying, in a scenic area of northern Iraq near the Iranian border.
Their mothers were allowed to visit over a year ago.
Shourd was forced to leave her two friends behind when she was released last September after being held captive for over 400 days, but Bauer and Fattal remain in Iran's notorious Evin Prison.
Shourd was released for humanitarian reasons so she could be treated for a lump in her breast.
"I stand before you today only one-third free," Shourd said then.
Bauer had proposed to Shourd in jail, having woven together a ring that she showed off on "Good Morning America" last year.
"I'm still wearing it. It's just red and white, from string from his T-shirt," Shourd said then.
That delicate ring has since fallen apart, but Shourd still holds on to the hope that they will get married as soon as he gets released.