The Supreme Court of the separatist People’s Republic of Donetsk has sentenced to death this Thursday the British prisoners Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin and the Moroccan Brahim Saadun, alleged mercenaries of the Ukrainian Army, according to the local news agency DAN. “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.

Those convicted have one month to appeal the sentence, a right that the three combatants will make use of, according to the DAN agency. The three prisoners of war have acknowledged this Wednesday that they have committed actions aimed at the violent seizure of power, under article 323 of the penal code.

In times of peace, this article is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but in case of war the defendant can be sentenced to death, according to the laws of Donetsk. None of the three foreigners has acknowledged having participated as mercenaries in military actions in Ukraine, according to article 430.

This Thursday, however, the court reported that the three defendants had admitted all the charges filed against them, which includes operating as mercenaries in Donbas and carrying out terrorist activities, according to DAN.

Aslin, 28, who had been part of the Ukrainian Army since 2018, was arrested in April by pro-Russian militias in Mariupol.

Shaun Pinner, 48, was also captured during the Russian siege of the same city in the Donetsk region after several years as a soldier in the Ukrainian Army.

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.

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