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Arctic Sea sailors' wives say still no contact with loved ones

ST. PETERSBURG, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Close relatives of the crew of the Arctic Sea cargo ship have still not had any contacts with their loved ones, the wife of one of the sailors told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

"As before, there is no communication. Everything we know is from what is shown on television," said the woman, who saw pictures of her husband on television after he arrived in Moscow on a Russian military plane.

The Arctic Sea was found and freed by a Russian warship on Monday, more than two weeks after it disappeared. Eleven of the crew and eight suspected hijackers were flown to Russia from the Cape Verde islands on Thursday.

The wife of another sailor, who apparently is among the four who remain on the ship while it is towed to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk for further investigation, said she has received no information on his fate.

"So far, there has been no communication," she said.

Russian investigators said on Friday that the sailors were being treated in strict accordance with the law and were free to move around as they pleased and make telephone calls if they wished.

"Reports in a number of media outlets that the rights of participants in the criminal process have been infringed do not correspond to reality," the Investigations Committee said in a statement.

The Maltese-flagged cargo vessel was found off Cape Verde on Monday with 15 Russian crewmembers and eight suspected hijackers on board. The ship was freed by the Russian Ladny missile frigate without a single shot being fired.

A Moscow court on Friday sanctioned the detention of the suspected hijackers, who were taken straight to a high-security prison in Moscow after landing at a military airfield near the capital on Thursday.

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