KIEV, April 10. /TASS/. Captain of Russia’s Nord fishing vessel detained in Ukraine, Vladimir Gorbenko, has been released on bail from a pre-trial detention center in Kherson and is to appear in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), Tatiana Tikhonchik, a spokesperson for the so-called Crimean Prosecutor’s Office (part of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office), informed TASS on Tuesday.
"The captain has left the detention center and is to appear in the SBU’s Main Directorate in the ARC (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the name Kiev still uses in relation to this territory, which reunited with Russia in 2014 - TASS) for investigative actions," she noted.
Tikhonchik added that at the moment she had no information on the fate of the rest of the crew members, who gave testimony at the SBU’s department in Kherson earlier in the day as part of the criminal case against the vessel’s captain.
On March 25, the Ukrainian Border Guard Service detained a vessel flying the Russian flag with a crew of ten Russian citizens, the residents of the Crimean city of Kerch, in the Sea of Azov.
The fishing vessel’s captain is charged with "violating the procedure of entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and exit from it for the purpose of causing damage to the state’s interests," which envisages an imprisonment for a term of up to five years and also the confiscation of the ship.
On April 6, a court in Kherson, Ukraine, ruled to arrest the captain until May 31. However, he was not released on bail at that time, although the payment had been made.
Simultaneously, the Primorsky District Court of Mariupol in Ukraine imposed administrative fines on all members of the crew for the total sum of about $1,200. They were allowed to leave the vessel. Later on, the Ukrainian border guards did not let the crew members accompanied by diplomatic workers to leave the country citing the lack of necessary documents as a pretext.
According to the Ukrainian Border Guard Service, residents of Crimea, which was incorporated into Russia after the 2014 referendum, must present Ukrainian rather than Russian passports.