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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Hijacking Suspects Charged

Eight men suspected of hijacking the Arctic Sea cargo ship were charged Thursday with piracy and kidnapping, the Investigative Committee said.

One of the eight has been accused of organizing the hijacking, a statement said, without elaborating.

If convicted, the suspects face up to 20 years in prison.

Investigators also said several of the ship’s 15 Russian crew members had been injured during the ship’s mysterious voyage and isolated by their captors in separate cabins. (MT)

Rights Activist Detained

Moscow police have detained the deputy head of human rights group Justice, Dmitry Baranovsky, on suspicion of large-scale money extortion, the group said Thursday.

Baranovsky participated in a news conference Aug. 20 that accused law enforcement officials of closing corruption cases against senior officials and prosecuting human rights activists.

The director of the group’s Karelia branch, Andrei Kulagin, was found dead in a sand pit outside Petrozavodsk in July after disappearing in May. (MT)

Pensioner Called Extremist

A 69-year-old Moscow pensioner is being investigated on charges of extremism for purportedly calling on his friends to beat people “of non-Slavic nationality,” RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

The pensioner, whose name was not released, repeatedly called for violence in a bar on Ulitsa Dekabristov in northern Moscow between May 2008 and February, a police source told RIA-Novosti. (MT)

Aleksanyan Trial to Resume

The trial of former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan, who is dying of AIDS, will resume Sept. 21, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

Aleksanyan, 36, who is charged with embezzlement and money laundering, was released from custody amid a human rights outcry in December. He posted bail of $1.8 million. (MT)