Arrest of 8 Ukrainian sailors extended until Apr 24
Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court has extended the arrest of eight Ukrainian sailors detained following the Kerch Strait incident until the end of April, an Interfax correspondent reported.
"The court ruled to extend the period of arrest of Roman Mokriak, Yevhen Semydotskiy, Andriy Oprysko, and Serhiy Tsybyzov by three months, until April 24, 2019," Judge Albina Galimova read from the ruling on Tuesday.
A few minutes later, Judge Sergei Ryabtsev has announced a similar ruling with respect to another four sailors: Andriy Shevchenko, Bohdan Holovash, Serhiy Popov, and Volodymyr Tereshchenko.
The defense lawyers asked the court to decline the investigators' motions. If the court rules on a different measure of restraint for the sailors, the Ukrainian embassy is ready to provide them with housing, according to notes attached to their cases.
The court sessions were held in camera at investigators' request. At the beginning of the hearings, the court declined to grant petitions filed by the defendants' lawyers to transfer the cases to a military court, because, according to the defense, the sailors are prisoners of war.
The defense lawyers will appeal the extensions. Mokriak's lawyer Ilya Novikov said that he had already filed a brief complaint.
The court is expected to decide on extending the arrest of another 16 sailors by three months on Tuesday.