New charges could be filed in Arctic Sea case

MOSCOW. October 14. KAZINFORM New charges could be filed in the case of the Arctic Sea dry cargo ship's seizure, an investigator said in a Moscow court on Wednesday, Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

The Finnish-owned, Maltese-flagged ship manned by a Russian crew and listed as carrying lumber from Russia to Algeria, was reportedly boarded by a group of eight men on July 24. Officials later said it had disappeared in the Atlantic. It was freed off Cape Verde on August 16 by a Russian warship.

The Basmanny Court arraigned eight men on piracy and kidnapping charges over the case on August 21. On Wednesday, investigators requested that the court remand in custody two of them - an Estonian national, Yevgeny Mironov, and a Russian citizen, Dmitry Bartnev.

The investigator said custody should be extended for three months and 29 days pending further interrogations and expert examinations. The judge granted the request, and extended the investigation period until February 18.

On Thursday and Friday the court will hear similar requests concerning five other suspects.

Bartnev's lawyer, Konstantin Baranovsky, said his defendant has accused the captain of the Ladny warship of abduction and illegal detention, and requested that the court launch a criminal case against him.

The court has rejected Bartenev's appeal against the decision to hear the case in a Russian court instead of Malta or Sweden, which have launched their own criminal cases into the incident. The appeal was rejected on the grounds that the Russian constitution does not permit the trial of Russian nationals in foreign courts, Kazinform cites RIA Novosti. See for full version.


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