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Azov crisis: Court over detained Ukrainian sailors not to begin before early 2020, - lawyer

It will take about a year before actual court sessions in this case begin, Ilya Novikov said
11:32, 11 January 2019

www.rbc.ua

The court sessions in the case of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait is unlikely to start over another year. Lawyer Ilya Novikov said this on the air of Pryamyi TV channel. 

'The court, if it ever begins in the first place, will take place in no sooner than a year. Most likely, we're talking half a year but that's not quite realistic. So it's quite important not to make it to the trial', the lawyer said.

According to him, such 'courts' are staged and thus are of merely formal nature.

On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. 24 Ukrainian sailors were captured in the attack, three of them sustained wounds. 21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others were taken to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison, also in the Russian capital.

On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.

Ukraine demands to set the seamen free, insisting that the Kremlin breached the international maritime law in the Kerch Strait incident. The Ukrainian government considers the Russian attack an act of military aggression.

Related: Ukraine sends ECHR full statement against Russia's actions during Azov crisis

Related: During Azov crisis, Ukrainian ships were shelled from large-caliber cannon

Related: Poland names Russian aggression in Azov Sea most important international event in 2018

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