Two British prisons, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, and a Moroccan, Braguim Saadun, have been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk, in the framework of the invasion of Ukraine. The three foreign fighters fought alongside the Ukrainian army against Russia.
“In delivering its verdict, the court was guided not only by the prescribed norms and rules, but also by the unshakable principle of justice,” a court spokesman said, local news agency DAN reported.
The three prisoners of war yesterday acknowledged having committed actions aimed at the violent seizure of power, under article 323 of the penal code. According to this article of the Donetsk laws, it is punishable by up to twenty years in prison in times of peace, while that in case of war, the defendant can be sentenced to death.
Shaun Pinner, 48, was captured during the Russian siege of the city of Mariupol (Sea of Azov) after several years as a soldier in the Ukrainian Army. For his part, Aslin, 28, who had been part of the Ukrainian Army since 2018, was also arrested in April by pro-Russian militias in the same city in the Donetsk region, where fighting continues between Russian and Ukrainian troops.
In mid-April Aslin and Pinner addressed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a message broadcast on Russian television, asking to be exchanged for the pro-Russian politician close to the Kremlin, Victor Medvedchuk, arrested for high treason. Both the family of both soldiers and the British government have demanded that the Russian authorities treat them with dignity in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
None of the three foreigners acknowledged yesterday having participated as mercenaries in military actions in Ukraine, in accordance with article 430. However, the court reported that the three defendants had admitted all the charges brought against them, including operating as mercenaries in Donbas and carrying out terrorist activitiesaccording to DAN.
The prisoners have a month to appeal the decision.