MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has dropped piracy charges against 30 people involved in a Greenpeace protest over Arctic oil drilling, replacing them with lesser charges, the Itar-Tass news agency reported on Wednesday, citing federal investigators.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the charges against activists who protested at an oil platform last month had been changed from piracy, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 12 years, to hooliganism which has a lesser punishment, Itar-Tass reported.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by Barry Moody)

 

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