Russian court to rule over Greenpeace activists

A Russian police officer guards an entrance of the Russian Investigative Committee office where Greenpeace activists were taken for questioning, in Murmansk, Russia, late Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013. Russia's top investigative agency said Tuesday it will prosecute Greenpeace activists on piracy charges for trying to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. The 30 activists from 18 countries were on a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized last week by the Russian Coast Guard. The ship was towed Tuesday into a small bay near Russia's Arctic port of Murmansk and the activists were bused to the local headquarters of Russia's Investigative Committee late at night for several hours of questioning and then into a detention facility. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

A Russian police officer guards an entrance of the Russian Investigative Committee office where Greenpeace activists were taken for questioning, in Murmansk, Russia, late Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013. Russia's top investigative agency said Tuesday it will prosecute Greenpeace activists on piracy charges for trying to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. The 30 activists from 18 countries were on a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized last week by the Russian Coast Guard. The ship was towed Tuesday into a small bay near Russia's Arctic port of Murmansk and the activists were bused to the local headquarters of Russia's Investigative Committee late at night for several hours of questioning and then into a detention facility. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court is expected to rule in the case of 30 Greenpeace activists apprehended after they tried to scale an offshore oil platform last week.

Two members of the group were detained Sept. 18 in their attempt to scale the Russian Arctic platform. The Coast Guard seized Greenpeace's ship the next day and towed it with the 30 activists aboard, to Murmansk. The activists from 19 countries are in custody and being investigated for piracy.

The court is expected to rule Thursday whether to dismiss the case and release the activists or keep them in jail pending the probe. Investigators said they are seeking the activists' arrest.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the activists aren't pirates, he defended the detention by saying Coast Guard officers.

Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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