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The Chukot district court ruled on Friday that travellers Karl Bushby and Dimitry Kieffer be fined 2,000 roubles and expelled from Russia
The Chukot district court ruled on Friday that travellers Karl Bushby and Dimitry Kieffer, who were detained for violating the border crossing regulations, be fined 2,000 roubles and expelled from Russia, court chairman Yuri Ivanov told Itar-Tass. An appeal against the court ruling may be filed within ten days. Border guards are to deport the travellers. When it will happen depends on whether the foreigners will appeal against the decision, Ivanov said. The foreign travellers, who arrived in the Chukot Peninsula after crossing the Bering Strait, were charged with an offence under Russian Criminal Code Article 18.1, Part 2 (Russian state border regulations violation by foreigners). The case hearing continued for two days. It was conducted in two languages -- Russian and English. A member of the legal chamber of the settlement of Lavrentia, Alexander Perelygin, defended the interests of Kieffer and Bushby. He insisted on full acquittal of the defendants, saying there was no illegal border crossing -- Uelen formally is a checkpoint, but with special crossing conditions. The crossing under so extreme conditions may be regarded as such, the lawyer believes. The travellers were detained in the village of Uelen on April 1. They arrived there from Alaska, the United States, after crossing the ice-covered Bering Strait. When their documents were examined, it was found out that the foreigners had commercial visas for entry to Russia. According to the travellers, they planned to pass all the necessary border crossing procedures in the settlement of Provideniya, but got lost. The investigation conducted by border guards and the Federal Security Service found no criminal offence in the actions of Bushby and Kieffer.
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