Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, are facing execution after being convicted of war crimes allegations in a “show trial” by a pro-Russian proxy court – both men were arrested in Mariupol
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British militants facing the death penalty after being captured by pro-Russian forces plan to appeal, a lawyer said.
Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, are at risk of being killed by firing squad after being convicted of war crimes allegations in a “show trial” by a pro-Russian proxy court.
Yulia Tserkovnikova, who was appointed by the Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic to represent Shaun, said: “My colleagues and I are working on the text of the appeal in the interests of our clients.
“If the appeal is dismissed and the verdict comes into effect, a pardon application will be made as this is our clients’ inalienable right based on the laws of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
“It must not be harmed and they strongly insist on using it.”
Official Denis Pushilin, who would hear a pardon request, has already said he sees no reason to grant it.
It’s unclear why it has taken two weeks to announce an appeal, although hopes of a change in the verdict are all but absent.
An appeal hearing is expected in about two weeks.
Earlier this month, Aiden, from Nottinghamshire, and Shaun, from Bedfordshire, along with 21-year-old Moroccan Sadun Brahim, were sentenced to death after the trio, along with Ukrainian forces, surrendered to pro-Putin militants in Mariupol.
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Another British prisoner, Andrew Hill, 35, from Plymouth, was also warned to face the death penalty if his sentence is passed separately.
Ms Tserkovnikova said Pinner was crushed by the death sentence.
She said: “He changed right before our eyes. He immediately became 20 years older.
“All three understood that they will be punished.
“They understood that punishment for the crimes they committed was inevitable, but it seems to me that they did not count on the death penalty.
“Of course it was a shock to her.”
Ms Tserkovnikova also criticized the UK government for not doing more to ask for clemency or her release, possibly as part of an exchange.
She said: “If the British authorities have such an intention [to change the verdict]I only know from the media.
“This appears to be a very bad position for British officials to put on a show publicly in the media and talk about protecting the rights of their citizens.
“No one prevents the British authorities from approaching the DPR state authorities directly, at least officially inquiring about the fate of their subject and not making loud statements in the media.”
Russia’s ambassador to London Andrey Kelin said Moscow had received a note from the UK government but said it was “arrogant”.
He told SolovyovLive: “The [British] note is composed in… I wouldn’t say diplomatic.
“Not as an invitation to dialogue. It’s composed quite arrogantly. It is often said that we “must” [respond in a certain way].
“I can say that [with] the Americans … there was an invitation to dialogue.
“Here [with the British] We don’t see an invitation. We will respond accordingly.”
Aiden’s family have told the BBC their concern at the news.
Grandmother Pamela Hall said: “There are no words, just no words, it has to be everyone’s worst nightmare to see a family member being threatened in this way.
“Aiden was very upset when he called his mother this morning.
“The bottom line is that Aiden has said the DPR told him that nobody from Britain had been in touch and that he was going to be executed.
“I have to believe what Aiden told us, that if the DPR doesn’t get an answer, they will execute him. Of course I hope that’s not true.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/brits-facing-firing-squad-sham-27307016 Brits face firing squad at Russian mock court to appeal death sentence - World News