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Two German journalists held in Iran return home

By the CNN Wire Staff
German reporters Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch arrive at Tehran's Mehrabbad Airport from Tabriz on February 19, 2011.
German reporters Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch arrive at Tehran's Mehrabbad Airport from Tabriz on February 19, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The German Foreign Ministry says the two returned to Germany on Sunday
  • Both men have had their sentences replaced by fines
  • They were arrested in October and accused of espionage
RELATED TOPICS
  • Iran
  • Germany
  • Journalism

(CNN) -- Two German journalists charged with espionage in Iran have returned to Germany following their release from an Iranian prison, a spokesman for Germany's Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

The two men arrived in Germany on Sunday morning accompanied by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the spokesman said.

The pair -- Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch -- had been sentenced to 20 months in prison. They were arrested in October after they interviewed the son and lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted of adultery in 2006 and sentenced to death by stoning.

However, Iran's Revolution Court dismissed the sentences, instead fining each of them $50,000, Iran's state-run Press TV said.