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ST PETERSBURG/MURMANSK, November 11 (Itar-Tass) - The Greenpeace activists arrested in Murmansk are being transferred to St Petersburg to arrive there on November 12, a source among the investigation world officials told Itar-Tass.
According to preliminary information they will arrive in St Petersburg on November 12 by train, said the source.
A source in the Greenpeace press service told Itar-Tass that the Greenpeace activists taken from the investigation ward were being transported in a specially equipped prison service train carriage attached to Murmansk-St Petersburg passenger train. “They left the investigation ward in the Murmansk region at five in the morning,” said the source.
The Murmansk region agency of the Federal Penitentiary Service confirmed that all the 30 arrested Greenpeace activists left the investigation ward in the morning. There had been no comment on the Greenpeace activists’ transfer from the Investigative Agency of Russia’s Investigative Committee for the North Western Federal District dealing with the Greens case. Investigators earlier confirmed to Itar-Tass that the detained activists were to be moved to St. Petersburg, as this would facilitate translation and the defence of the detained during the investigation.
On September 18, the Arctic Sunrise ice-breaker with Greenpeace activists onboard approached the Prirazlomnaya oil platform, which was drilling a coastal shelf off the Murmansk region. The activists tried to climb onboard the platform. However, Russian border guards thwarted their actions. The vessel was towed to the Murmansk port. A Murmansk district court arrested 30 Greenpeace activists, representing 19 countries, and sentenced them to two months in prison on piracy charges. They are being kept in custody in several pre-trial detention wards of the Murmansk region.
In early October, the Leninsky district court in Murmansk issued a warrant to arrest all the 30 people, who were aboard the Arctic Sunrise, citizens of 18 states, including four Russians. They were placed in custody in Murmansk for two months. A criminal case was opened on piracy charges against all. Later, the Russian Investigative Committee brought charges of disorderly conduct, dismissing piracy. On the latter charge they may face up to seven-year imprisonment instead of up to ten years on the former charge.