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Polish Prosecutor takes over case of drone-flying Russian arrested in Warsaw

September 27, 2016, 14:11 UTC+3 WARSAW

Local media say that the Russian national’s case has been referred not only to the police but also to the country’s Internal Security Agency (ABW)

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WARSAW, September 27. /TASS/. The case of a Russian national arrested by Poland’s law enforcement agencies on Monday for flying a drone over the country’s government offices and on Belweder Palace in downtown Warsaw, has been handed over to the Prosecutor's Office, the spokesman of the Warsaw District Prosecutor’s Office Mihal Dzikansky told TASS.

"We are not divulging any information yet. Legal proceedings are currently in progress," he said. According to Dzikansky, within 48 hours the Prosecutor’s Office has to make a decision on whether further any steps should be taken. It either asks the court to consider possibly detaining, or releasing the defendant while implementing other preventive measures, if necessary.

Warsaw police spokesman Mariusz Mrozek said in turn that the Russian suspect "is still under arrest". He said that according to the Polish legislation, police can detain him for 48 hours without a court decision and the detention period can be extended for another 24 hours. At present, the suspect has already been in custody for nearly 24 hours.

On the morning of September 26, Poland’s Government Protection Office staff spotted a drone flying over the Ujazdowskie Alley, where the country’s governmental offices, in particular, the offices of the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry are situated. Consequently, the drone’s operator was detained. According to Mrozek, he is suspected of violating the Polish Air Code that prohibits launching drones in this part of the city without special permission. According to Polish legislation, this offence is punishable by up to five years' imprisonment.

The local TV channel TVN24 says that the Russian national’s case has been referred not only to the police but also to the country’s Internal Security Agency (ABW). According to the channel, at the time of the arrest, the drone’s owner was sitting in a Porsche Cayenne with Russian license plates, he also produced Russian documents.

The Russian embassy in Poland has not yet received any notification of the Russian citizen’s detention from the Polish authorities but was establishing the circumstances surrounding the incident. "We haven’t received any notification from Poland’s authorities," the embassy’s press secretary Valeriya Perzhinskaya said on Monday. "We are trying to clarify the situation," she added.

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