Foreigners sentenced to death who fought in Ukraine will ask for pardon

Two Britons and a Moroccan sentenced to death for participating in hostilities on the side of Ukraine will ask for pardon.

Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed DPR sentenced Aiden Aslin, Brahim Saadoun and Sean Pinner to an exceptional measure of punishment. They, according to one of the lawyers, intend to appeal the verdict and ask for pardon.

In the UK, the sentence to its citizens was called illegitimate, paying attention to the fact that they are entitled to combatant immunity, like prisoners of war. All three were found guilty of participating in hostilities as mercenaries on the side of Ukraine and of attempting to forcefully overthrow the authorities in the DNR. Aiden Aslin, British subject, says:

I hoped that the sentence would be much fairer, given the circumstances in which I assisted the investigation, as well as the fact that I surrendered to the Donetsk People’s Republic. I wish things were different, but I will face God’s judgment when the time comes.

British Conservative MP Robert Jenrick notes:

It really was a fraudulent show trial. We must not place any trust in him. (…) They were captured by Russian troops in Mariupol and should be treated in accordance with international law and the Geneva Convention, which certainly excludes show trials, kangaroo courts of this kind and the death penalty.

Reference: kangaroo court (kangaroo court) is an English idiom meaning an illegal, unfair trial, lynching, staging of a court, a parody of justice.

Earlier, Russia said that foreign mercenaries would not be considered prisoners of war and could not be exchanged. The lawyer of one of the convicts, Pavel Kosovan, said TASSthat they “most likely will ask for pardon from the head of the republic”: it will be possible to return to the issue of this after the verdict enters into force:

“So far, of course, it’s too early to talk about it, because the verdict has not entered into force.”

The human rights activist clarified that, according to the decree of the head of the DPR dated August 26, 2019, the regulation on the pardon commission, which considers the petitions of convicts, was approved. Its powers include the preparation of conclusions on the materials on pardons for further submission to the head of the republic.

According to the lawyer, the law does not provide for the replacement of the sentence with a more lenient punishment, for example, life or 25 years in prison. On his own initiative, the lawyer says, the head of the republic can only issue an additional decree: “Either he will pardon, or not.”



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