Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim and Fars news agencies as saying on Tuesday that the trio had been charged in two separate cases, confirming for the first time that Tehran was holding them.

Esmaili said that two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country.

They had been identified at the time and images were found on a drone they were using, he added on the first case.

“Criminal charges have been issued for both cases and they are waiting for their trial,” Esmaili was quoted as saying.

The families of the three said last week they had been held in Iran.

They identified them as a travel-blogging couple Jolie King and Mark Firkin and Melbourne University lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

It is unclear when the trio was arrested and where they are being held.

The travel-blogging couple had been documenting their journey on social media for the past two years but went silent about 10 weeks ago after posting updates from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan.

The family of Moore-Gilbert said on Saturday that she had been held in Iran for a “number of months”. The academic, who is reportedly a dual British-Australian national, specialises in Middle East politics with a focus on Gulf states.

Source » aljazeera