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Captain of Russian vessel released on recognizance, says Ukrainian prosecution

April 06, 12:46 UTC+3 KIEV

Captain Vladimir Gorbenko of Russia’s Nord fishing vessel, detained in Ukraine, has been released on his own recognizance

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© AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle/POOL

KIEV, April 6. /TASS/. Captain Vladimir Gorbenko of Russia’s Nord fishing vessel, detained in Ukraine, has been released on his own recognizance, with his lawyer responsible for guaranteeing his client’s appearance in court, Spokesperson for the so-called ‘Crimean’ Prosecutor’s Office (part of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office) Tatyana Tikhonchik told TASS on Friday.

"Gorbenko is with his lawyer, who has taken on the obligation to guarantee his appearance in court," she said, adding "it was the court’s decision."

On March 25, Ukraine’s State Border Service detained a fishing vessel flying the Russian flag in the Sea of Azov, whose crew includes ten Russian nationals. The Federal Security Service Directorate for the Crimean Republic has launched a criminal case against Ukraine’s State Border Service on charges of "hijacking an aircraft, watercraft or railway train."

On April 4, the captain’s lawyer said that his client was charged under the Ukrainian Criminal Code’s article on "violating the entry and exit rules to Ukraine’s occupied territory." By the same token, the lawyer stressed that particular article did not stipulate keeping his client in custody. Nevertheless, Gorbenko had been apprehended and taken to a pre-trial detention center.

On Thursday, the Kherson City Court was expected to consider pre-trial restrictions against Gorbenko but the prosecution claimed the court hearing had to be postponed due to the court’s heavy workload. According to attorney, Dmitry Shcherbina, the court hearing did not take place because his client had not been brought before the court. On Thursday night, the captain was released on recognizance ahead of the main hearing set to be held on Friday at 13:30.

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