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Charges Coming in Greenpeace Case

Greenpeace protesters demonstrating outside the Russian Embassy in Bern, Switzerland on Sunday. Peter Klaunzer

The Investigative Committee on Monday accused Greenpeace activists of posing a "real threat" to the security of personnel on an offshore drilling platform in the Arctic, another indication that Moscow plans to prosecute the jailed environmentalists for their protest.

All 30 people who were on a Greenpeace ship, including two journalists, have been jailed for two months pending an investigation into their Sept. 18 protest at the platform owned by state-controlled energy giant Gazprom.

The Investigative Committee said charges would be filed soon but did not specify whether it was still considering charging the activists with piracy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

"Lacking testimony from the suspects regarding the circumstances [of the incident] and their aims in attacking the platform, the investigation is determining these circumstances based on an objective  account of what happened," the committee said in a statement.

The committee said the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, had violated the 500-meter security zone around the platform and that it was carrying equipment whose purpose was still unclear.

It said investigators had seized some equipment and documents from the ship as part of their ongoing search.

Greenpeace Russia denied that the ship had ventured closer than the 500 meters established by Russian and international law. The inflatable boats used by activists to scale the offshore platform did violate this zone, but posed no danger, the organization said.

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