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Family of Canadian activist held in Russia 'cautiously optimistic' about pardon

Greenpeace International activist Paul Ruzycki of Canada walks after being released from a prison in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. The family of Ruzycki is "cautiously optimistic" about his pardon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Pavel Golovkin
December 18, 2013 - 10:47 AM

The sister of a Canadian Greenpeace activist facing charges in Russia says she's "cautiously optimistic" after hearing he and his group will likely be cleared.

But Patricia Ruzycki Stirling says her family won't celebrate until her brother is back on Canadian soil.

Her brother Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., and Alexandre Paul of Montreal were among 30 Greenpeace activists jailed after being arrested during a protest at a Russian oil rig in the Arctic.

The group will likely be covered by an amnesty bill passed by Russia's parliament today but it's still unclear whether some Greenpeace members could face new charges not covered by the amnesty.

The activists, who spent two months in jail before they were granted bail, were initially accused of piracy but authorities later changed that charge to hooliganism.

Paul's mother, Nicole Paul, says the ordeal hasn't deterred her son, though he may give Russia a wide berth on future Greenpeace missions.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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