Investigation into case of Ukrainian sailors detained in Kerch Strait completed

Investigation into case of Ukrainian sailors detained in Kerch Strait completed
Detained Ukrainian sailors in Moscow’s Lefortovo Court

Earlier, the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea obliged Russia to return the defendants to their homeland.

The investigation into the criminal case on the illegal crossing of the state border in the Kerch Strait by 24 citizens of Ukraine has been completed. The case materials consist of about 20 volumes. Now the defendants and their lawyers will begin to familiarize with them, Interfax reports, referring to lawyer Nikolay Polozov.

“The Investigation Department of the Federal Security Service of Russia has brought the final charges against all 24 Ukrainian detained sailors,” Polozov said.

On November 25, 2018, Russian border guards detained the Ukrainian tug Yana Kapu and small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol in the Kerch Strait area with the use of weapons. 24 Ukrainians who were onboard were accused of illegally crossing the Russian border, committed by a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy or by an organized group (part 3 of Article 322 CCRF).

Ukraine considers the detainees war prisoners and sent a complaint to the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which on May 25 ordered Russia to transfer the arrested sailors and ships to their homeland. The Kremlin does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

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