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Moscow court upholds decision to keep four Ukrainian POWs in custody till April

The court session was held in camera
09:33, 21 February 2019

Reuters

Moscow City Court leaves four more Ukrainian sailors in the remand prison till April, as the lawyer Nikolai Polozov reported on Facebook.

“Moscow City Court considered the appeals of the defence of the sixth four of the Ukrainian sailors – Andriy Artemenko, Vasyl Soroka, Andriy Eyder, Oleg Melnychuk. The result of the hearing was rather predictable, the court rejected the appeals and upheld the decision of Lefortovo District Court till end of April, just as it decided concerning the other 16 POWs,” Polozov noted.

Related: Poroshenko urges UN to put pressure on Moscow to release Ukrainian sailors

He added that the session was held in camera upon the Russian Security Service.

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. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.

All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Related: Three wounded Ukrainian sailors to be sent for examination in hospital, - ombudswoman

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.

Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.

Related: Psychological pressure still put on Ukrainian sailors, - lawyer

As we reported, lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who deals with the defense of Ukrainian prisoners of war, confirmed that three Ukrainian sailors wounded in the Russian Navy attack on Ukrainian ships were brought from Matrosskaya Tishina to Lefortovo prison in Moscow. He also added that it happened on Monday, January 28.

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