Russia to release four Greenpeace activists

Nov 19, 2013, 7:19 AM EST
Greenpeace International activist Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi of Argentina, left, reacts to a verdict and holds a photo of his daughter in a cage at a court room during a hearing that's considering the investigators request to extend the detention of 30 members of the Arctic Sunrise Greenpeace International ship in St. Petersburg, Russia,Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.
(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) Summary

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — A Russian court on Tuesday granted bail to Greenpeace protesters from Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand and Poland, the first foreign activists eligible to be released from jail while awaiting trial for participating in a demonstration outside a Russian oil rig.

The Primorsky court in St. Petersburg on Tuesday set bail at 2 million rubles ($61,500) each for Miguel Orsi, Ana Paula, David Haussman and Tomasz Dziemianczuk. The court said the activists would be released if the bail is paid within the next four days.

Orsi, clutching a photograph of his baby daughter, broke into tears on hearing the judge's decision.

Greenpeace said it would make money available as soon as possible.

Thirty people aboard a Greenpeace ship were detained in Russia's Arctic in September for a protest outside a floating oil rig. and have been in custody since. The activists were initially charged with piracy, but investigators later said they were bringing hooliganism charges and that piracy would be dropped.

The Primorsky court refused to release an Australian activist on Monday while another St. Petersburg court granted bail to three Russians aboard the ship including prominent photographer Denis Sinyakov.

Judges in Greenpeace hearings had previously agreed with prosecutors' claims that foreign activists were a flight risk.

Twenty-two other crew members are expecting court rulings on their detentions.