MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian authorities have started paying back the bail money paid by eco-organization Greenpeace for 30 activists arrested last year while protesting Artic oil drilling and later freed under presidential amnesty.
Anton Beneslavsky, a lawyer with Greenpeace Russia, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that investigators recently refunded part of the money the NGO paid to bail out the activists weeks after hooliganism charges against them were dropped.
Russian authorities have also returned part of the belongings that the activists had when detained by border guards in September aboard the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker after some of the activists tried to stage a protest on a Gazprom oil rig.
The charges were dropped as part of a broad prison amnesty approved by state lawmakers last month to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.
Beneslavsky said it was still unclear when Greenpeace would get back its Dutch-flagged icebreaker, which remained docked at a port in Russia’s northern city of Murmansk.
Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Monday that it was still unclear who was due to pay some 3 million rubles ($90,000) in fees to the port for keeping the ship since mid-September.