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Eight Russian sailors staying in Nigeria after acquittal

June 21, 2013, 21:07 UTC+3
As of now, all the 15 Russian sailors are staying at the Russian embassy
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

PRETORIA, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - Eight Russian sailors from the ship Myre Seadive who were acquitted by a Nigerian court are still staying in Nigeria, their lawyer told Itar-Tass on Friday.

The lawyer did not elaborate why they are not returning to Russia but recommended to wait when the trial of all the 15 Myre Seadiver crewmembers is over.

On Tuesday, the court acquitted eight out of 15 Russian sailors, the crewmen from the ship Myre Seadive that was detained on October 19, 2012 at the port of the city Lagos under the pretext of allegedly incorrectly declared firearms onboard the ship.

The court was to pronounce a verdict on the fate of the other seven sailors. But the trial was postponed to July 9.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Nigeria expressed the hope the the court would acquit these seven men. “We hope the matter will be finally put to rest,” the spokesman told Itar-Tass.

The lawyer did not provide the names of the acquitted sailors, neither did he say why the court divided the crew.

As of now, all the 15 Russian sailors are staying at the Russian embassy.

In October 2012, the Nigerian authorities detained the ship Myre Seadiver owned by the company Moran Security Group, which provides the services of armed escort for commercial cargoes in pirate-prone areas of the world’s oceans, at the port of the city Lagos under the pretext of allegedly incorrectly declared firearms onboard the ship. The crew of 15 Russian sailors was arrested. On February 25, the Federal Court of Lagos upheld the appeal filed by the Russian embassy in Nigeria for a release of the 15 Russian sailors against its guarantees. On June 18, charges against eight crewmembers were dropped.

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