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    Charges brought in Russian submersible investigation

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    VLADIVOSTOK, August 15 (RIA Novosti, Veronika Pirmenona) - The Russian Pacific Fleet's military prosecutor's office has brought charges of negligence against the commander of a Russian ship involved in the operation to rescue the AS-28 Priz submersible that was trapped on the Pacific seabed on August 4-7, a representative of the office said.

    The spokesman said the commanding officer's lack of professionalism had led to the Venom deep-sea rescue vehicle, which the Russian Navy bought after the Kursk nuclear submarine tragedy in 2000, being crippled.

    Valery Suchkov, Russian Pacific Fleet's military prosecutor general, had earlier told RIA Novosti that the Venom's breakdown had meant that the rescue operation had cost about an additional about 10 million rubles ($350,000), though the exact sum had not yet been identified.

    The AS-28 became trapped in a fishing net August 4 at a depth of about 190 meters (about 620 feet) in the Berezovaya Bay in the Bering Sea. It was rescued after three days when a British unmanned deep-sea rescue vehicle, the Scorpio 45, cut the net's cables and freed the Priz on Sunday August 7.

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