Captured Ukrainian sailors may return home already in two months – lawyer

Captured Ukrainian sailors may return home already in two months – lawyer

Ukrinform
Ukrainian sailors, who were captured by Russian security forces in the Kerch Strait area, could be released by October under the personal guarantee of Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova.

“Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova filed a motion on a personal guarantee to the Investigation Department of the Federal Security Service of Russia through the Russian Foreign Ministry. Russia’s note [dated June 25] indicated that it was necessary to provide written guarantees in accordance with the criminal procedure legislation of the Russian Federation. A personal guarantee is a form of guaranteeing the participation of a person, who has not been sentenced, in judicial and investigative actions," lawyer of Ukrainian sailors Nikolay Polozov said in a commentary to the Izvestiya media outlet.

The documents are now in the Investigation Department of the Security Service but have not yet reached the investigator who will have to make a decision on this issue within three days, he added.

According to the lawyer, the written guarantees have already been sent to the Investigation Department of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation confirming that the sailors charged with the violation of the Russian border will continue to participate in judicial and investigative actions after their return to their homeland.

Polozov recalled that the agreement on the provision of legal assistance between Russia and Ukraine had not been denounced yet.

As reported, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards fired on and seized three Ukrainian Navy ships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol, and the Yani Kapu, heading from Odesa to Mariupol, near the Kerch Strait. In addition, their crewmembers, 24 Ukrainian sailors, were captured. Three of them were wounded.

A Russian-controlled court in the occupied Crimea arrested all the detained Ukrainian sailors on charges of alleged illegal border crossing. They are held in a remand prison in Moscow now.

On May 25, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 captured sailors.

On July 9, the Russian prosecutors brought the final charges against all 24 Ukrainian sailors -prisoners of war.

On July 15, Ukrainian sailors were put on of prisoner swap list.

On July 17, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova suggested releasing the sailors under her personal guarantee as the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for such an opportunity.

On the same day, the Lefortovsky District Court of Moscow extended the arrest of Ukrainian sailors for three months.

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