News World Russia detains Aust activist for 3 months

Russia detains Aust activist for 3 months

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A court in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg has extended the pre-trial detention of the Australian Greenpeace activist arrested for an Arctic protest for three months until February 24.

Colin Russell was the first of the 30 detained activists to have his case heard on Monday and the ruling by the court creates a precedent that could mean all those arrested will have their detention extended in a similar fashion.

The 30 were arrested after coastguards boarded the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise following a protest at an oil platform owned by state-controlled Gazprom in the Pechora Sea on September 18.

They were charged with hooliganism and face seven years jail if convicted over the protest, in which it is claimed some activists tried to climb the Prirazlomnaya rig.

Greenpeace claims the protest was peaceful.

Russell has already denied any wrongdoing.