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Greenpeace captain denied bail in Russia

Greenpeace+Protest in Paris14 October 2013, News Wires – Russia has knocked back three more bail applications made by Greenpeace over the detention of 30 activists following an Arctic drilling protest last month.

The failed bail attempt for Argentine-Italian dual citizen Camila Speziale early on Monday meant seven activists arrested on board the environmental group’s flagship vessel Arctic Sunrise in the Pechora Sea had been refused bail.

Later on Monday, the court in Murmansk also refused bail for the vessel’s captain Peter Willcox.

David Haussmann from New Zealand also saw his bail application rejected, making it nine out of nine failed applications.

A bail hearing for Italian citizen Cristian D’Alessandro will continue on Tuesday after the judge ordered a new defence lawyer be appointed. Greenpeace claimed that D’Alessandro’s lawyer has “consistently pointed out violations” of his client’s rights.

All 30, comprising 28 protesters and two freelancers, have been charged with piracy following the failed attempt to board the Gazprom Neft Shelf-operated Prirazlomnaya platform at the Prirazlomnoye oilfield.

As Upstream reported in Friday’s newspaper, the Russian operator still hopes to start oil production from the platform in December.

Greenpeace has consistently said that the charges of piracy are erroneous and the detentions illegal. As the Arctic Sunrise is Netherlands-flagged, the Dutch government had signalled that it will begin arbitration proceedings against Russia, using the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to try to get Russia to release the detainees.

Earlier this week, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo issued an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, calling for an immediate meeting to discuss the fate of the 30 detainees.

Naidoo’s letter, delivered to the Russian embassy in the Dutch capital of The Hague, included the offer that he move his entire life to Russia and act as guarantor on behalf of the protesters, were they to be released on bail.

Upstream has attempted to get a response from Putin’s office to Naidoo’s letter but, as of Monday morning, none was forthcoming.

– Upstream

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