The Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk has condemned this Thursday death penalty for two British citizens and a Moroccan for participating in the Ukrainian war on behalf of the Ukrainian side.
“When giving his verdict, the court has been guided not only by the norms and rules prescribed but also by the unshakable principle of justice,” said a court spokesman.
Shortly after the start of the war, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky launched the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Legion, a detachment through which Ukraine sought join their ranks with international volunteers.
According to the Russian authorities, cthus 7,000 foreigners from more than 60 countries have joined the Ukrainian army to participate in the conflict. Moscow says just over 1,000 of these “foreign mercenaries” have been arrested, while some 400 were trapped during the siege of the Azovstal steel plant.
One month to appeal the sentence
According to the local news agency DAN, those convicted have one month to appeal the sentence, right that the three combatants will make use of.
The Donetsk Supreme Court accuses Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin and Brahim Saadun of having committed group Crimes, among which is the forced seizure of power. He also accuses them of acting as mercenaries in the Ukraine war.
The court began on Monday the trial of the two Britons and the Moroccan citizen and the three They have recognized this Wednesday part of the crimes attributed to them. After analyzing the “totality of the evidence”, the Supreme Court has proven the guilt of the accused and has determined that must be “sentenced to death.”
Captured by Russian troops
Shaun Pinner, 48, was captured by Russian troops during the siege of the city of Mariupol, after several years as a soldier in the Ukrainian army. For his part, Aiden Aslin, 28, was part of the Ukrainian forces since 2018 and was captured in April by pro-Russian militias in the Donetsk region, where clashes between Russian and Ukrainian troops continue.
In mid-April, the two Britons addressed the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in a message broadcast on Russian television, in which they asked to be exchanged for the pro-Russian politician Victor Medvedchuk, arrested for high treason.
Both their families and the British Government have demanded from the Russian authorities a dignified treatment in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
The British government has declared be “deeply concerned” about convictions imposed on the two British citizens and has stated that will work to try to secure his release. “Under the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war are entitled to combatant immunity and they should not be prosecuted for taking part in hostilities. We will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to try to secure the release of any British national who has served in the Ukrainian Army and is being held as a prisoner of war,” the British Prime Minister’s spokesman said.