RIA Novosti: Last Imprisoned Greenpeace Activist Granted Bail in Russia

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti) ­ The last of the Greenpeace activists arrested in Russia over a September protest at an Arctic oil rig was granted bail Thursday by a St. Petersburg court.

The court set bail for Colin Russell from Australia at 2 million rubles ($60,000), the same condition set for the other 29 crew members, who were all granted bail last week and have all been released.

Russell, 59, whose bail hearing was held before those of all the other crew members, was the only one to be refused bail last week, prompting Thursday’s appeal hearing. Greenpeace International said in a statement that it expected to pay the bail the same day, aiming to complete the paperwork in time for Russell to be released before the weekend.

The Australian and all the other 29 members of the international crew of the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise have been charged with hooliganism in Russia over a protest against offshore oil drilling in the environmentally fragile Arctic. The ship and its crew were arrested in September after several of the activists attempted to scale the Prirazlomnaya rig owned by an affiliate of Russia’s state oil giant Gazprom. If found guilty, they face up to seven years in jail.

An international maritime tribunal ordered Russia last week to release the Arctic Sunrise, which is currently moored in the Russian port of Murmansk, and all 30 detainees on bond of 3.6 million euros ($4.8 million).

Kremlin officials promptly said Russia would not comply with the ruling, and that the tribunal had no jurisdiction in the case.