Pro-Moscow separatists sentenced to death two British fighters and a third from Morocco, who were captured by Russian troops while fighting for Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.
The “supreme court of the Donetsk People’s Republic” ordered the death penalty for Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saadun Brahim after the three were accused of acting as mercenaries for Ukraine, the TASS news agency said.
The three accused will appeal the decision, Pavel Kossovan, a lawyer representing one of them, told TASS.
The court also told them they could ask for a pardon, the agency reported.
Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko dismissed the proceedings as “placing propaganda interests above the law”.
During a trial that lasted three days, the men pleaded guilty to committing “actions aimed at seizing power and overthrowing the constitutional order of the Donetsk People’s Republic”, news agency Interfax said.
The two British citizens surrendered in April in Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine that was captured by Russian troops after a weeks-long siege, Interfax said.
Brahim surrendered in March in the eastern town of Volnovakha.
In April, the two Britons were shown on Russian state television, demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiate their release.