Hardline Islamist Taleban authorities in Afghanistan say they might hold a public trial for eight foreign aid workers accused of preaching Christianity.
Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil says the investigation of the foreigners' case is almost complete and it is expected the trial would be held in a public court. He did not give a date for the trial of the four Germans, two Americans and two Australians.
An open trial would mean relatives of the detainees, diplomats and the media would be allowed to monitor the proceedings. The aid workers would also have the right to defense lawyers.
Other Taleban officials are quoted as saying the trial could begin later this week.
Taleban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is expected to make the final decision on punishment.
The foreigners were arrested in early August along with 16 Afghan coworkers, who face a separate trial on charges of trying to convert Muslims. If convicted, the Afghanis could face a much harsher punishment.
The United Nations has called for a fair trial of all 24 aid workers.
Meanwhile, the French news agency says Taleban authorities moved the eight foreign aid workers to an unknown location Sunday. They had been detained at a juvenile correction center in Kabul.
Saturday, the foreign workers of two other Christian humanitarian groups left Afghanistan after being ordered out by the Taleban. No explanation was given for the expulsions.