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MADRID, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Finnish-operated Arctic Sea cargo vessel, which is on its way back to Russia after being hijacked in late July, is to call at the port of Las Palmas, a Spanish marine spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Fresh mystery surrounded the destination of the Arctic Sea, allegedly hijacked for weeks by pirates, on Tuesday after Russia said it is no longer trying to dock the ship in Spain's Canary Islands.
Russia's embassy in Madrid and Spain's foreign ministry said that Russian authorities had withdrawn their request for permission to dock at Las Palmas and did not know where the Maltese-flagged vessel is heading.
The request was formally withdrawn on Friday, a Spanish diplomat said, the same day that Russian investigators unloaded evidence from the Arctic Sea onto a Russian warship to be taken to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.
Wives of Arctic Sea sailors plead for their freedom
...The open letter from the four wives, all of whom live in Russia's northern port city of Arkhangelsk, was distributed to journalists by Mikhail Voitenko, a shipping expert who has closely followed the Arctic Sea saga.
The four women said they had not spoken to the sailors since August 18 -- around the time that Russian investigators left the ship -- and that their communications before that had been extremely limited.
"Before that our husbands called us about four times, with each conversation lasting from one to one-and-a-half minutes," they said.
"From our conversations with our husbands, we learned that they are all in bad physical shape."
The men were suffering from aches and pains, had limited access to food and water, and felt deeply isolated, the women said...
Lawyer: Arctic Sea crew had fun with hijackers
Konstantin Baranovski, the lawyer of one of the suspected hijackers of the Finnish-owned and Maltese-registered ship, the Arctic Sea, says that the Russian crew of the ship let the suspected pirates make themselves comfortable while on board.
“They drank vodka and played sports, and spent free time together”, Baranovski said to Helsingin Sanomat.
Baranovski made his first comments on the matter to the BBC.
According to Baranovski’s client, the suspects were testing navigation equipment near the Estonian coast in July. They got lost in poor weather, and were rescued by the Arctic Sea, whose Russian crew welcomed them on board. The crew and the suspected hijackers then partied many times while en route from the Baltic Sea, through the English channel, and to the Atlantic.
The Russian Navy arrested the eight suspected hijackers in mid-August near Cape Verde. Baranovski said that they could not leave the ship, because the vessel did not stop at any port.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly traveled to Moscow with a plea for the release of Mossad commandos allegedly related to the hijacking of the “Arctic Sea” vessel, says RT contributor Wayne Madsen.