Criminal case against foreign fighters returned to court
Three suspected mercenaries from Britain and Morocco, who joined the Ukrainian army and were later captured by Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces, could face the death penalty there, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic.
Viktor Gavrilov, the justice spokesman, revealed that an investigation into the activities of “a group of foreign mercenaries” who would have “participated in the preparation and implementation of hostilities against the DPR,” had been closed and a criminal case had been “Fully formed.”
“The material in the case has been transferred to one of the courts of the republic for consideration which could result, given the wartime, in the application of capital punishment – the death penalty – to the accusedGavrilov told reporters.
The General Prosecutor’s Office clarified that the investigation had confirmed that the British Shaun Pinner and Andrew Hill, as well as the Moroccan Ibrahim Saadoun, were involved in crimes falling under three articles of the Penal Code of the DPR: the “commission of crimes by a group of people,” the “taking power by force or forced retention of power”, and “mercenary.”
According to the Criminal Code of the DPR, mercenarism, which is internationally considered a crime, can be punished by imprisonment for three to seven years, and forcible seizure of power – by 12 to 20 years. . Aggravating or wartime circumstances can lead to the death penalty.
Russian military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said earlier that the best thing foreign mercenaries could expect was a “a long prison term”.
Pinner and another suspected British mercenary, Aiden Aslin, called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to facilitate their exchange with one of Ukraine’s opposition leaders, Victor Medvedchuk, who had been detained by Ukrainian forces. London, however, apparently limited itself to calling Pinner and Aslin”prisoners of war,” rather than “mercenariesand said they should be treated accordingly.
In early May, Andrew Hill posted a video in which he says that after coming to Ukraine, he realized “it was hellthere. He also claimed that the foreign mercenaries he was fighting with were “really mean people and sadists.”
“I understand that everything was done wrong and I hope for clemency from the Donetsk People’s Republic”, he said.
Russia attacked the neighboring state, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014. The Minsk protocol brokered by Germany and France has was designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.