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Man, 42, on piracy charge in Russia
3:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A FATHER-of-three from Chipping Norton is facing a potential 15-year prison sentence after being charged with piracy in Russia.
Cameraman Phil Ball was part of a 30-strong crew on a ship belonging to the charity Greenpeace, protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic.
The 42-year-old was one of six Britons who were aboard the Arctic Sunrise when it was boarded by Russian security officers while in the Barents Sea.
The crew was arrested last month after two of the activists tried to board an oil platform owned by the Russian energy company Gazprom.
Mr Ball specialises in timelapse photography for natural history, documentary and commercial film work and has previously worked as a camera assistant on the Planet Earth series.
Nial Sookoo, Greenpeace spokesman, said they were all fine but finding the conditions tough.
“The conditions in any prison aren’t great, and they certainly aren’t great in Russia,” he said. “They are getting support from the British consulate in Russia and getting legal representation.
“They’ve had boxes of books and chocolate and shower gels about a week ago and we will be able to do that again in a week’s time.”
A series of appeals and bail hearings for all 30 people being held started on Tuesday, with the cases of the non-Russian nationals due to be held imminently.
High-profile celebrities such as actors Imelda Staunton, Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter, Jude Law, and Blur frontman Damon Albarn, joined about 800 people demonstrating against the charges outside Russia’s embassy in London on Saturday.
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