Captain of Ukrainian vessel sentenced in Georgia

10:54, 15 January 2007
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To a two-month pre-trial custody

A court in Georgia’s Black Sea town of Poti sentenced Sergey Ribkin, captain of the Russian fishing vessel ‘Grot,’ to a two-month pre-trial detention on January 13, according to Civil Georgia.

The captain of the Ukrainian fishing vessel ‘SAVOR-2’ was also sentenced to a two-month pre-trial custody by the same court on January 12.

Both of the vessels were detained by the Georgian coast guard in the Abkhaz section of Georgia’s territorial waters on January 10. Crew members from both vessels were accused of violating state borders and illegal fishing. Later, all of them except the ship`s captains were released on GEL 2 000 bail each.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kaminin said that Russian Embassy officials in Tbilisi are undertaking measures to protect the rights of the Russian citizens.

“We hope that the Georgian authorities will react with understanding, will show restraint in statements and actions and will release the captain of the vessel,” Kaminin said in a statement for the press on January 13.

A total of 22 vessels have been detained by the Georgian side in the Abkhaz section of Georgia`s territorial waters in the past two years, according to the Georgian Border Police.

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