ST. PETERSBURG, December 24 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s investigators have started granting amnesty notifications to foreign activists from the ecological movement Greenpeace, who were arrested on criminal charges for participating in the September campaign at the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Arctic, Andrey Suchkov, a lawyer for the detained environmentalists, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
“We are currently familiarizing ourselves with the notifications,” Suchkov said, adding that he hoped that all thirty activists would receive amnesty notifications within the next few days.
The lawyer did not specify, however, who was due to receive the notifications on Tuesday.
According to some other Greenpeace lawyers, on Wednesday, December 25, the amnesty notifications were to be granted to Australian activist Colin Russell and American Activist Peter Willcox, the captain of the Greenpeace protest ship.
Suchkov noted also that a separate investigator’s order was needed to refund bail money. After this the document was to be sent to a justice department and other bodies which would return the bail amount to the bailor - the Greanpeace International organisation.
Greenpeace activists have been released on bail and are currently staying at a hotel in St. Petersburg.
On September 18, the campaign group's ship The Arctic Sunrise reached the Prirazlomnaya oil drilling platform in the Barents Sea, where activists tried to climb on board.
They were seized by Russian security guards and their vessel was towed to the port of Murmansk. Thirty crewmembers - nationals of 19 countries, including four Russians - were detained.
After two months in a Russian jail facing charges of piracy, later reduced to hooliganism, they were granted bail last month.