Brazil hails Russian bail for held Greenpeace militant

19th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday welcomed Russia's decision to release on bail Brazilian Greenpeace activist Ana Paula Maciel, detained for an Arctic oil drilling protest.

"I am delighted with the news," she said on her Twitter account, adding that the foreign ministry was monitoring the issue.

The ministry meanwhile said Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo will pay an official visit to Russia Wednesday and would take up Maciel's case in his talks with his Russian counterpart.

Earlier Tuesday, Russian courts granted bail to Maciel and eight other foreign Greenpeace activists, bringing to 12 the number released over the last days and raising hopes of a solution to a case which has raised global concern.

Russia had held 30 crew members of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship for over two months after activists in September scaled an oil rig in the Barents Sea owned by energy giant Gazprom.

Those released by courts in Saint Petersburg are unlikely to immediately be able to go home. They still face trial and risk several years in jail.

The nine granted bail Tuesday include nationals of Canada, Poland, Italy, Argentina, France and Finland. They were the first foreigners to be granted bail by the courts.

On Monday, two courts in Saint Petersburg had said bail would be granted to three Russian activists but ordered Australian activist Colin Russell to remain in pre-trial detention until February 24.

None of those granted bail has been freed yet, with the process requiring the transfer of the bail funds by Greenpeace followed by confirmation that the money has been received.

© 2013 AFP

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