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Departure of ship accused of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain allowed by Lebanon

A senior court source told that Lebanon's top prosecutor has removed his seizure order on a ship that Ukraine had accused of transporting stolen corn and barley.

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A senior court source told that Lebanon’s top prosecutor has removed his seizure order on a ship that Ukraine had accused of transporting stolen corn and barley. The ship is now free to depart after the prosecutor found “no criminal offense occurred,” according to the source.

According to the source, the ship known as the Laodicea is still unable to set sail for the time being as a result of another seizure order that was issued by a judge on Monday in the city of Tripoli, which is located in northern Lebanon and where the ship is docked.

It has been reported that the judge who granted the seizure order stated that it was only effective for a period of three days and three nights.

An official at the Ukrainian Embassy in Beirut stated that he was unable to comment at this time but that the embassy would be holding a news conference on Wednesday.

Ukraine has asserted that the ship, which was sailing under the flag of Syria, was transporting approximately 10,000 tons of grain and barley that Russia had stolen from Ukrainian stocks following its invasion in February.

The Russian Embassy in Lebanon has stated that it does not have any information regarding the shipment. Moscow has in the past refuted allegations that it stole grain from Ukraine.

Previously, a spokesperson from the company that owns the cargo denied that it had been taken and stated that the ship would sail to neighboring Syria if it were permitted to leave Tripoli.

The Laodicea arrived in Lebanon on July 27, and two days later, chief prosecutor Ghassan Oueidat issued an order to confiscate it awaiting investigations in response to a protest lodged by the Ukrainian embassy and other Western governments.

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