WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal officials confirmed on Friday that a prominent American-born anchorwoman on Iranian state television was jailed in the US as a material witness and has not been charged with any crime, according to court papers.
Marzieh Hashemi has appeared twice before a US district judge in Washington and has been appointed an attorney. US government officials expect her to be released immediately after her testimony before a grand jury.
The order to unseal some parts of her case came days after she was first detained. It did not include details on the criminal case in which she was named a witness. Her son Hossein Hashemi did not comment on details of the case outside court on Friday.
It was not clear how long her testimony would take.
“We’re hoping that it would be complete and she would be out this week. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” he said. “So we’re just waiting to hear more.”
Federal law allows judges to order witnesses to be detained if the government can prove that their testimony has extraordinary value for a criminal case and that they would be a flight risk and unlikely to respond to a subpoena. The statute generally requires those witnesses to be promptly released once they are deposed.