- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
298

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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298

PRIZES AND PRIZE COURTS. P. vn., Сн. хпі.

The ships and cargoes captured under the conditions here described
must be delivered to the proper authorities, the captors having the
right to claim the customary prize money in the event of the
confiscation of such ships or cargoes.

. When arresting a merchant vessel or her cargo, the commander
of the ship effecting such arrest must draw up a statement of the
grounds for and circumstances of the arrest, and must take every
possible precaution for the preservation of the ship and her cargo.

The commander is required further :—

1. To detain the captain, supercargo, and any other members of
the crew whose evidence he considers may be necessary when the
case is tried in the prize courts, independently of whether the persons
mentioned are regarded as prisoners of war or not.

2. To secure, make an inventory of, and seal up all documents
found on board of the captured vessel (Art. 18).

The captain of the captured vessel, the owners, both of the vessel
and the cargo, or their representatives, if on the spot, are entitled to
be present while the formalities described above are being performed,
to make any remarks or suggestions, and to affix their own seals to all
articles or compartments that are sealed up (Art. 19).

In extreme cases, when the pieservation of the captured vessel
is impracticable, either owing to her unsound condition, or to her
being of little or no value, or to the risk of recapture by the enemy,
or to the distance she would have to be conveyed, or to the ports to
which she would have to be taken being blockaded, or to the serious
danger threatening her captor, or finally, to difficulties in manoeuvring,
the commander is permitted, on his own personal responsibility, to
burn or sink the captured vessel, after first taking off her crew and as
much as possible of her cargo, and after taking all necessary steps
for the preservation of all papers and documents found on board and
of any other articles which may be essential for a proper trial of the
case in the prize courts.

The circumstances leading to the destruction of the vessel must
be stated by the commander in a detailed report or protocol (Art. 21).

Ships and cargoes captured from the enemy must be conveyed to
a Russian port, or, where no such port is available, to that of an allied
power, or to the acting Russian fleet (Art. 22).

When conveyed to a Russian port, or to the acting fleet, the ship
and cargo must be handed over to the naval authorities, together
with the necessary documents. The naval authorities, having opened
the sealed documents, must take over, make an inventory of and store
the property, arranging for the sale by public auction, when necessary,
of any portion of such property which, fiom its nature or conditions,
cannot be preserved. At such sales the commander of the vessel
that effected the capture, as well as the persons indicated in Art. 19,
are entitled to be present and to express their opinions and offer
suggestions (Art. 23).

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