Harrowing photographs of Brits held in Ukraine as they deny being mercenaries


John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy went on trial charged with being mercenaries and “present process coaching to grab energy by power,” on Monday within the metropolis of Donetsk, Russian media reported.

Andrew Hill has been pictured together with his arm in a sling whereas being guarded bya soldier in a balaclava on the “kangaroo court docket”, alongside Swede Matthias Gustafsson and Croat Vjekoslav Prebeg.

From left, British John Harding, Croatian Vjekoslav Prebeg, Swedish Mathias Gustafsson, British Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy are seen behind bars in a courtroom in Donetsk,

/ AP

All 5 pleaded not responsible to the fees that might impose the demise penalty underneath the legal guidelines of the self-proclaimed and unrecognized Donetsk Folks’s Republic.

Prosecutors allege all 5 males have been members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion and different navy models captured in Mariupol.

Captured Europeans throughout Ukraine-Russia battle attend a court docket listening to in Donetsk

/ Reuters

Russian information company Tass additionally mentioned ex-serviceman Mr Harding, 60, from Sunderland, had been combating alongside Ukrainian forces since 2018.

In July he appeared in a video interesting to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for assist. It’s alleged he had additionally fought in Syria for the Kurdish aspect however had denied killing anybody.

Support employee Mr Healy, from Cambridgeshire, was captured at a navy checkpoint alongside Paul Urey who died in July whereas additionally being held by Russian-backed separatists.

Dominik Byrne from the Presidium Netwok the place Mr Healy volunteered advised the BBC: “Dylan’s household are very involved and fearful.

“It’s surprising to see them in what’s a kangaroo court docket, which actually that has no standing in worldwide regulation in any respect.

“They’re being handled completely towards the Geneva Conventions and in a really hostile means, being transported with out figuring out the place they’re, in order that’s completely unacceptable.”

Shaun Pinner, left, and Aiden Aslin, proper, earlier than they have been captured by Russian forces

/ Sky Information

The subsequent court docket listening to of their case is scheduled for October, the Interfax information company reported.

It got here after fellow Brit Aiden Aslin who was captured whereas combating for Ukraine submitted an attraction to the identical court docket after his demise penalty sentence, in response to Russian media.

Mr Aslin, initially from Newark in Nottinghamshire, was sentenced to demise final month by a proxy court docket within the Russian-backed seperatist Donetsk area of Ukraine in what Overseas Secretary Liz Truss condemned as a “sham judgment”.

Ukrainian social media has been abuzz with hypothesis that the Kremlin might search to make use of the overseas fighters to extract concessions from Ukraine or swap them for Russian prisoners.

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