Russia swaps piracy charges for hooliganism charges against Greenpeace activists
Russia's main investigative agency says it has dropped piracy charges against jailed Greenpeace activists and charged them with hooliganism instead.
The Investigative Committee's statement Wednesday appears to herald a quick release of the activists, who were arrested last month for a protest at Russian oil rig in the Arctic. The piracy charges carry a 15-year prison term, while hooliganism can ranger anywhere from 15 days in jail to seven years or longer.
The move follows a comment by President Vladimir Putin, who said last month that he doesn't think the Greenpeace activists are pirates.
A group of 28 Greenpeace activists, including Port Colborne resident Paul Ruzycki, have been held since their ship, the "Arctic Sunrise" was seized by the Russian coast guard after protesting outside a Gazprom-owned oil rig Sept. 18.