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MURMANSK, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - A Murmansk court has extended the arrest term for eight Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise ship from 72 hours to two months, a spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
On Friday, September 27, the court granted the investigators’ motion and placed under arrest for two months 22 out of 30 members of the Arctic Sunrise crew, including four Russians. According to the investigation, remaining at large, they could evade the administration of justice, continue criminal activity or influence the investigation. They are currently held at several detention centres in the Murmansk region. For the rest of the detainees the period of custody was extended to 72 hours. The North-West Federal District’s investigation department of Russia’s Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Friday that the investigation petitioned for placing under arrest all the crewmembers, but the Leninsky Court of Murmansk granted the motion in part.
Russia’s Investigative Committee had previously reported that those arrested for an attack on the Prirazlomnaya platform might be released from custody prior to the expiration of the two-month period ordered by the court. The Committee’s spokesman, Vladimir Markin, told Itar-Tass that after the role and culpability of each of the attackers and the degree of social danger of the offence is established, “the investigation may soften the measure of restraint, releasing the detainees even before the expiry of their arrest term.”
The incident took place on September 18, 2013, when activists of the Greenpeace environmental organization, onboard the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker flying the flag of the Netherlands, made an attempt to board the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea the southeastern part of the Barents Sea. Russian coastal guards thwarted the attempt to board the platform and tugged the Arctic Sunrise to the port of Murmansk. A criminal case on piracy charges was opened and 30 crewmembers of the ship - citizens of 19 countries - were detained.