British mercenaries captured in Donbas could face the death penalty

British mercenaries captured in the Donbas could face the death penalty, according to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

The head of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Department for Investigation of Crimes against Peace and Human Security, Viktor Gavrilov, said he had completed the indictment against the foreign mercenaries from the UK and Morocco, who face the death penalty.

“The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Donetsk People’s Republic is investigating the criminal case against a group of foreign mercenaries from the UK and Morocco, suspected of committing crimes under the second part of Article 34 (Crimes committed by a group of persons), Article 323 (Seizure of power by force or maintenance of power by force) and Article 440 (Mercenary activities) of the Criminal Code of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Gavrilov said.

The testimony of British citizens Sean Pinner and Andrew Hill, as well as a citizen of Morocco, Saadoun Brahim, confirmed their guilt, the prosecutor added.

“The criminal case against the mercenaries who participated in the preparation and conduct of hostilities against the Donetsk People’s Republic has been fully established. The documents of the case have been forwarded to one of the republic’s courts for examination on the merits, as a result of which the death penalty may be imposed on the accused, taking into account the circumstances of the war,” Gavrilov said.

Britons Sean Pinner and Aidan Aslin visited Ukraine in mid-April. Russian defence ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that, under international humanitarian law, mercenaries cannot obtain combatant status, so “the best that awaits them is a long prison sentence”.

Pinner later told Russia’s first TV station that he and Aslin had asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to facilitate their exchange for Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk.


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