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Captors of Russian tanker were let off at sea

Captors of Russian tanker were let off at sea 07.05.2010
Text: Lenta.Ru
Photo: countering piracy. Lenta.Ru
Pirates who had hijacked Russian tanker Moscow University were disarmed, put on inflatable boat and set free, reports RIA Novosti citing the source in defense ministry familiar with the ship release operation.

According to the source, there are no legal rules for court action against pirates acting off Somalia, so "they do not fall within jurisdiction of any country and international law either".

Pirates arrested by Russian marines were deprived navigational facilities; the inflatable disappeared from radar screens in an hour after the pirates were let off.

Besides, the representative of Russian naval task force deployed in the region previously said that the pirates were still on board the tanker. "Nobody has taken them from the ship and set free", insisted undisclosed source having added that a decision where to bring detained persons would be made upon termination of all investigative activities.

We recall that Liberian-flagged tanker Moscow University with 23 Russian crewmembers on board was hijacked on Wednesday; no later than Thursday morning the ship was freed by marines from large ASW ship Marshal Shaposhnikov. Reportedly, the operation lasted only 22 minutes, since 5:13 am till 5:35 am, Moscow time. Pirates could not take the tanker carrying 86,000 tons of oil to Somali coast, since the crew locked themselves in machinery compartment.

During assault operation one pirate was killed and ten were arrested. Some media agencies assumed that the hijackers would be brought to Russia and accused in accordance with part 3 clause 227 of RF Criminal Code (act of piracy executed with force and weapon by organized group). However, this information was confuted by the Investigative Committee.

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