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Russian foreign ministry: Russia disappointed over postponement of trial of 7 Russian sailors in Nigeria

July 09, 2013, 23:23 UTC+3

On June 18, charges against eight crewmembers were dropped

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MOSCOW, July 9 (Itar-Tass) - Russia is “profoundly disappointed” over the Lagos court decision to postpone of seven Russian seamen, the crew members of the Myre Seadiver ship, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“After short debates, the judge once again adjourned the hearings, this time on October 8, 2013,” the ministry said. “We proceeded from that fact that after the Nigerian court thoroughly scrutinizes the materials of the case, all the Russian sailors would be acquitted.”

“Thus, as of today, charges have been dropped against eight Russian crew members of the Myre Seadiver. They have already returned home,” the ministry noted. “Seven Russian crew members are still staying at the residential area of the Russian embassy in Lagos waiting for the court ruling.”

The Russian foreign ministry and the Russian embassy in Abuja “will continue to offer legal and other assistance to our compatriots hoping for a final verdict of their release,” the ministry stressed.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Moscow office of Moran Security Group, the ship’s owner, confirmed that the Nigerian court postponed hearings on the case on October 9. According to the spokesman, the trial was adjourned because the judges are going on vacations till the end of September.

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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