Russian diplomats try to contact detained sailors in Australia

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MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russian diplomats are attempting to contact six sailors who have been detained in Australia on suspicion of poaching, a Russian diplomat said Tuesday.

The sailors from a trawler sailing under the Cambodian flag were arrested on September 10 and are currently being held in a detention center near Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.

The Russian Consulate General said that although diplomats had not been in contact with the men directly, a staff member was trying to contact a lawyer hired by the ship's owners.

Under Australian law, the sailors can be kept in custody until Saturday morning and deported if their complicity in a crime has not been established. However, if it is established, the diplomat added, "a lengthy investigation" will follow.

"Diplomats are maintaining close contacts with the Australian authorities," the Russian official said. "The relatives of the detained sailors have been informed about the incident."

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