The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) indicted in absentia a judge from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), who sentenced three foreigners to death. This is stated in the department's Telegram channel.
The SBU believes that the DPR court “violated the norms of international law”. “Namely: the requirements of an additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts,” — the message says.
We are talking about two British citizens— Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin— and Moroccan Saadoun Brahim. In early June, the DPR Supreme Court sentenced them to death. They were charged under Part 2 of Art. 34 of the Criminal Code of the DPR (commission of crimes by a group of persons), art. 323 (forcible seizure of power or forcible retention of power) and Art. 430 (mercenary).
The punishment was imposed on the accused “according to the totality of crimes”, foreigners partially admitted their guilt. However, at that time there was a moratorium on the execution of death sentences in the republic, which was canceled on July 8.
After the verdict was passed, the UK called the decision of the Donetsk court fictitious and illegal. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said at the time that London was doing everything possible to free its citizens. British authorities consider Pinner and Aslin prisoners of war. The head of the DPR, in turn, ruled out their exchange or the possibility of pardon due to lack of grounds.
In early July, the Russian Embassy in London reported that they had received appeals from the British authorities. The diplomatic mission stated that the issue related to the verdict did not fall under its jurisdiction and offered to contact the DPR.
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The lawyers of the convicts appealed against the verdict in the cassation instance and asked to reduce the sentence to life imprisonment.