cannot be exchanged
According to the DPR Attorney General’s Telegram channel, “a criminal case has been launched against a group of foreign mercenaries.” Among them are British nationals Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin, as well as Moroccan national Saadoun Brahim.
“34. Criminal proceedings were initiated for the crimes stipulated in the second part of the article (committing a crime by a group of persons), article 323 (seizure or detention by force) and article 430. DPR Penal Code (mercenarism)”. in the message.
The investigation revealed that all of them acted as mercenaries in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “participated in the preparation and conduct of hostilities” against the Donetsk People’s Republic.
“The arrested foreigners are charged with mercenary service and commission by a group of individuals for prior conspiracy in actions aimed at seizing power and forcibly changing the constitutional order of the DPR,” the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor said.
The ministry added that the suspected foreigners were detained and “given detailed statements”.
In turn, the head of the Committee on Criminal and Administrative Legislation of the DPR People’s Council, Yelena Shishkina, told TASS that foreign mercenaries participating in the hostilities in the Donbass are not the subject of barter, as they acted in violation of international conventions.
“They did not serve as military personnel here. <...> Here they acted like terrorists, like the Nazis, so there can be no talk of any exchanges, ”she is sure.
According to him, captured Azov warriors are also not interchangeable with anyone. In addition, citizens of France, Poland and Lithuania participate in the fighting, as well as Ukrainian troops. Shishkina said investigators are investigating whether they came to Ukraine of their own free will or whether they were sent by the special services and governments of these countries.
On May 27, Viktor Gavrilov, head of the investigation department of the DPR Prosecutor General’s Office, responsible for the investigation of crimes against peace and security of humanity, said at a press conference that the arrest of Great Britain and its captured citizens. The Moroccan could be sentenced to death.
Gavrilov said the testimonies of Sean Pinner, Andrew Hill and Saadoun Brahim confirmed their crimes.
“The DPR Prosecutor General’s Office has completed the investigation of a criminal case against a group of foreign mercenaries from Great Britain and Morocco. The criminal case against the mercenaries involved in the preparation and conduct of hostilities against the DPR has been fully formed. The materials of the case are submitted to one of the courts of the republic for consideration on the merits. transferred, as a result of which the death penalty can be applied to the accused, taking into account the time of war,” he said.
The Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor, as a result of the statements of British nationals Sean Pinner and Andrew Hill, as well as a citizen of the Kingdom of Morocco Saadoun Brahim, decided that Art. 34 of the DPR Criminal Code (“Committing a crime by a group of people”), art. 323 of the Criminal Code of the DPR (“The seizure of power or the forced retention of power”) and Art. 440 of the DPR Criminal Code (“Mercenary”).
Rodion Miroshnik, Ambassador of the Luhansk People’s Republic to Russia, said in an interview with RIA Novosti on May 11 that all foreign mercenaries participating in hostilities on the Ukrainian side should be punished.
“We have a very clear position on this. The mercenaries who came to our land came to kill and earn money. We are fighting a battle for freedom and the opportunity to survive and build our lives. <...> We see foreign mercenaries arriving on our lands as criminals who must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. <...> and this is a very serious punishment for carrying out mercenary and criminal activities, violating the laws of war, ”Miroshnik said.
He added that Russia has taken over the prisoner exchange efforts and the LPR is not involved in this process.
British Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin surrendered in mid-April. Then, on the broadcast of Russia 1 TV channel, Pinner said that he and Aslin approached Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a request to help in exchange for opposition Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. The wife of the latter supported this idea.
But Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, said that according to international humanitarian law, “the best thing that awaits them is a long prison sentence.”
On April 19, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, wrote on his Telegram channel that foreign mercenaries are “not volunteers” for Russia.
“They are not legal combatants, they are not covered by the Geneva Conventions,” Medvedev said.
According to him, “foreign mercenaries who are therefore in Ukraine and will not surrender “together with their mentors” to the Russian troops are subject to “denazification”. “They will have to take full responsibility for their actions. Of course, if they survive,” said the vice-chairman of the Security Council.
On April 26, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the decision to exchange British citizens who fought and surrendered on the Ukrainian side should be taken by Kyiv.
We will do everything we can, but this decision is up to the Ukrainian side. We work very closely on this. <...> They have rights under the Geneva Convention. He should not be put in front of the camera, he should not be forced to take videos of the hostages. “This is a violation of their rights,” Johnson said on Talk TV.
“British citizens who fought and were captured on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are not hostages, they are prisoners of war, not some kind of exchange terrorists,” he said.