Tasmanian Times


Australian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell granted bail in Russia

Australian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell, who was among 30 people arrested over a protest against Arctic oil drilling, has been granted bail by a Russian court.

The Tasmanian radio operator on board the Arctic Sunrise was arrested in September after some of the activists tried to scale the Prirazlomnaya oil rig.

Earlier this month he faced a St Petersburg court on hooliganism charges, and the court ordered he be kept in jail until February 24.

Mr Russell appealed against the decision after watching all of his co-accused, known as the Arctic 30, be released on bail on the condition they do not leave Russia.

Greenpeace says Mr Russell was granted bail on Thursday, after 71 days in detention.

The group says Mr Russell is likely to be released this weekend after the paperwork is finalised.

Read the full story here

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  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    November 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, to Comment 5, that is exactly what it is – “a useful catch-all”, a bit like (in principle, if not in application & consequences) our old “loitering with intent”.

  2. Mike Adams

    November 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I have yet to see a definition of the legal term ‘hooliganism’ in Russia.

    If mother Russia is true to form it’ll be a useful catch- all.

  3. Justa Bloke

    November 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Leonard (#2) of course one can pick and choose when and when not to abide by any law. We all do it all the time. We weigh up the risks, the likely penalties, the benefits of the transgression. Most of the time most of us decide that obeying the law is the best course of action.

    There are also crimes of passion and those committed by people with limited mental capacity, where rational decision making does not come into it, but conscious lawbreaking is a common practice.

    In the case in question, it would appear that there might well have been the intention to break a Russian law but that the would-be perpetrators didn’t get close enough. Preventative detention for “hooliganism” seems a trifle harsh.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    November 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Dont mess with the Russians, under hard line leader Mr Putin who is not a particularly a good friend of the West. dealing with Russia is a lot different than dealing under duress with Western friendly nations as Japan.

    There is to say that it is a free society globally, the worlds next major conflict will be access to oil, Australia needs to conserve its gas reserves for home use first,not export.

    Perhaps Greenpeace should consider their actions on behalf of the home front as a priority.

    Suddenly Australia has got itself into international wild pig fight with Indonesia over snooping allegations which has lead to a sulking Indonesian President wanting an apology from Mr Abbott. Foreign aid, cattle trade and managing refugees, sharing military exercises are a part of the deadly political upheaval that is suddenly emerged in the SE Asian region.

    China is not happy with our Foreign Minister’s Julie Bishop’s support for Japans claim to the Senkaku islands over which the US is challenging the right of air space for the Japanese.

    Greenpeace need to stay away from the deadly politics that is now festering in the SE Asian region.

  5. Leonard Colquhoun

    November 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    This story in today’s Mercury –


    Its Comment 10 expanded:

    ANU international law professor Donald Rothwell is right to ask that Russia should indicate its compliance as soon as possible, and with his “Russia cannot pick and choose when it will and will not abide by the law of the sea”; presumably professor Donald Rothwell would also urge that attitude on all governments, organisations and entities which go down to the sea in ships.

    And wouldn’t most of our professors in Australian law also urge that (generally on principle, but with some narrow exceptions) Australians, neither as individuals nor as individuals, cannot pick and choose when they will and will not abide by our laws? And cannot claim some sort of entitlement (usually on a self-perceived moral superiority) to a dispensation from abiding by laws they dislike or disagree with.

    And that, should a valid law, local / state / national, be breached, such people have no entitlement to be spared the resultant consequences, an attitude which angers many otherwise well-disposed fellow citizens. The ultimate result is a loss of support among the millions of people who are not true believers.

  6. Kev Rothery

    November 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm


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