Crewmembers of Kerch vessel Nord that was arrested in the Sea of Azov will be able to go back to Crimea on Ukrainian passports. Yehor Rebrov, the Representative of the prosecutor's office of Crimean Autonomous Republic claimed this on the air Radio Krym.Realii.
‘They can freely get back home on their passports as Ukrainian citizens. Why they don’t do it is a question for them,’ Rebrov noted.
He added that he couldn’t comment on the possibility of exchanging the Nord crew.
‘The captain is announced suspicion of having committed of two criminal offenses: violation of the procedure of entry-exit from the temporarily occupied territory, and illegal fishing. The first one provides up to five years of imprisonment, the second – fine. Exchange of the captain is out of my jurisdiction. I personally think that the citizen of Ukraine can’t be conveyed to another country,’ Rebrov said.
The Representative of the prosecutor's office of Crimean Autonomous Republic noted that the criminal procedure towards the Nord vessel captain is at the stage of the pre-trial investigation. At the same time, according to Rebrov, there is no danger for the crewmembers of the vessel.
Reportedly, the Ukrainian border guards arrested fishing vessel-violator under the Russian flag in the Sea of Azov on March 25.
The Nord vessel was stopped in 15 miles from the Obytichna sandspit. The inspection defined that the vessel was registered in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Besides, the members of the crew violated the order of the exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. All of them had the so-called Russian passports, issued in Kerch. Later, the court arrested the arrested vessel. Ukrainian border guards detained Volodymyr Gorbenko on April 4.
Also, the captain of the vessel was detained but later was released on bail. The other members of the crew tried to leave the territory of Ukraine with the help of representatives of diplomatic institutions of the Russian Federation and get to the occupied Crimea. Ukrainian border police didn’t let them through because the crew didn’t have legal documents with them, which would verify their identity.
Although, two crew members of the Nord vessel arrived in Crimea.
Court has returned the crew of Nord vessel Russian passports on June 19. Yet the lawyer of the sailors noted that his defendants cant leave Ukraine because there is no final court decision on the case. The same day, the court refused to extend the ban on the captain of the vessel to travel to Crimea.