Possible drugs charges for Greenpeace activists in Russia

2013-10-10 09:30
Greenpeace International contracted freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov sitting in a defendant cage in a court in the northern Russian city of Murmansk. (Igor Podgorny, AFP)

Greenpeace International contracted freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov sitting in a defendant cage in a court in the northern Russian city of Murmansk. (Igor Podgorny, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russian investigators said on Wednesday several of the 30 Greenpeace activists already charged with piracy over their Arctic oil drilling protest were set to face additional charges for "other grave crimes".

The Moscow-based Investigative Committee said the authorities had found "narcotic substances" on the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise ship detained by Russia.

They added that some of the equipment on the vessel was of "dual purpose" and "could have been used not just for ecological purposes".

Investigators also said that they were working to determine who exactly "rammed coast guard motor boats on purpose, preventing border guards from fulfilling their duties" and putting their life and health at risk.

"Taking into consideration the data received in the course of the investigation of the criminal case, the charge already filed against everyone is set to be adjusted," the Investigative Committee said.

Prison

"It's obvious to the investigation that a number of individuals will be charged with committing other grave crimes," it said.

"Also, during the search of the ship narcotic substances have been confiscated - presumably poppy straw and morphine. The origin of these substances and their purpose is also being established."

Greenpeace spokesperson Aaron Gray-Block declined immediate comment.

Last week, Russian investigators charged the ship's 30 activists from 18 countries, including a freelance photojournalist and freelance videographer, with piracy which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

The activists were last month placed in pre-trial detention for two months.

Earlier on Wednesday, Greenpeace chief Kumi Naidoo asked for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, saying he was willing to travel to Russia at any moment to secure the activists' release.

"Were our friends to be released on bail, I offer myself as security against the promise that the 28 Greenpeace International activists will answer for their peaceful protest according to the criminal code of Russia," he said in an open letter to Putin.

Putin has said that the activists "of course are not pirates" but his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later said the Kremlin strongman had expressed his personal opinion.
Read more on:    greenpeace  |  environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.