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MURMANSK, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - A Murmansk court has started the consideration of the investigation motion for the arrest of eight Greenpeace activists from the Arctic Sunrise ship for which the detention period had earlier been extended to 72 hours.
The Greenpeace press service told Itar-Tass that Dmitry Litvinov, who has dual citizenship of Sweden and the United States, is the first to appear before the court.
“Five judges will be considering the cases. Next, the court will decide on the restraint measure for a woman - Finnish citizen,” said a representative of the environmental organization.
Representatives of Greenpeace said a rainbow appeared over the building of the Lenin District Court in Murmansk before the court meeting, and they have assessed this as a good sign.
On Friday, September 27, the court granted the investigators’ motion and placed under arrest for two months 22 members of the Arctic Sunrise crew, including all 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 Murmansk Oblast.
On September 28, “the investigators throughout the day were inspecting the Arctic Sunrise vessel, anchored at the Kola Bay. They confiscated the ship’s documents, the vessel’s captain was taken onboard during the examination, and a Greenpeace lawyer was present, the Greenpeace press service reported.
A criminal case over piracy as opened against the Greenpeace activists for their attempt to board the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil drilling platform. On September 18, the Arctic Sunrise ship, flying the Dutch flag, approached the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil drilling platform and the Greenpeace activists who were on the vessel, attempted to board the platform, in order to hang a banner protesting oil exploration in the Arctic. Their actions were stopped by officers of the Border Guard Department of Murmansk Oblast’s FSB, after which the vessel was taken in tow to Murmansk port. The investigators opened a criminal case over piracy, but they do not rule out that the charges may be softened. A total of 30 crewmembers of the ship - representatives of 19 countries, were detained.