Vladimir Putin’s ‘powerful’ ally ‘sees no reason’ to pardon British fighters’ death sentence – World News

Denis Pushilin is one of the few people who has the power to save Brits Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner after they are sentenced to death, but has preempted the trial to say he won’t

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Russia: Pushilin discusses Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner

The only Russian politician who can pardon the death sentences of two British militants said he sees “no reason” to save them.

Denis Pushilin is expected to hear apologies from Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, as well as 21-year-old Moroccan Sadun Brahim.

However, the leader of the Vladimir Putin-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has forestalled legal processes to forestall clemency requests and has already indicated that he will not offer any clemency.

The two Britons fought against Putin’s forces in Ukraine, but after being captured in April, they were sentenced to death by pro-Russian DPR forces on June 9.

They are said to have admitted “training to carry out terrorist activities”.

The DPR, a state recognized internationally almost exclusively by Russia, had the two Britons sentenced to death by its Supreme Court.

Aiden Aslin (left), Shaun Pinner (centre) and Moroccan Sadun Brahim were sentenced to death in Russia


TV Zvezda/east2west news)

Now Pushilin has sought to quash any hopes of a safe return home after being branded “mercenaries”.

In footage shown on the Zvezda Channel controlled by Vladimir Putin’s Defense Ministry, Pushilin said: “As for possible exchanges, pardons and other things, at this moment I have the right to pardon these people in accordance with our legislation.

“But I don’t see any prerequisites for me moving in that direction.”

He continued: “With the mercenaries, two Britons, one Moroccan – there was a trial, a direct trial, they were given lawyers…

“Their crimes can be categorized as felonies and extra felonies. It was easy enough to predict… that they should face the death penalty.

Denis Pushilin, Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic


URA.ru/east2west messages)

“My personal opinion is that this is just punishment for those who came to kill civilians for money from other countries.”

His testimony appears to contradict the entire court case, amid claims from the West that the three were subjected to a show trial that reportedly lasted just three days.

The trio will now appeal, which will be heard before any lawsuits, but Pushilin’s testimony has cast all of that into disrepute.

The trial itself was riddled with questionable decisions, including five witnesses on which they were convicted who simply failed to show up for the entire duration.

Mr Aslin’s family said in a statement: “We have heard the news from Donetsk and need some time to absorb everything.

Aiden Aslin was captured in April while fighting at Mariupol


facebook/ EAST2WEST NEWS)

“We love Aiden with all our hearts. As members of the Ukrainian armed forces, he and Shaun should be treated with the same respect as any other prisoner of war.

“We hope this sentence is overturned and urge the UK and Ukrainian governments to do everything in their power to ensure that they return to us safely and soon.”

“We can only imagine what they are going through right now.

“This is a very worrying development and we ask that our privacy be respected at this time.”

Mr Aslin’s mother, Ang Wood, is understood to have found out about the draconian sentence while watching the TV news at the family home in Newark, Notts.

In footage shared by Ria Novosti on social media on Wednesday, a translator can be heard asking Mr Aslin if he would “plead guilty” to an offence, to which he replied “yes”.

Shaun Pinner, 48


social media/e2w)

The video appeared to show the two Britons alongside the Moroccan national in the dock of the pro-Russian territory’s Supreme Court.

Mr Pinner faced tougher charges after he allegedly admitted to “seizing power by force”.

Despite Russia’s efforts to recognize the DPR, no other country does, and under international law, it is part of Ukraine that does not carry out the death penalty, just as Russia does not.

A Downing Street spokesman said earlier: “The UK Government is ‘deeply concerned’ by the death sentences imposed on Brits Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, who were captured fighting for Ukraine.”

After the recordings, the Foreign Office also condemned the exploitation of prisoners of war for political purposes.

It said it was cooperating with the Ukrainian government on the issue of British prisoners.

Denis Pushilin speaks about British prisoners of war on June 12, 2022


TV Zvezda/east2west news)

Secretary of State Lizz Truss tweeted: “I strongly condemn the condemnation of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.

“They are prisoners of war. This is a bogus judgment with no legitimacy. My thoughts are with the families. We continue to do everything we can to support them.”

One suspicion is that Putin wants the men swapped for pro-Kremlin prisoners being held in Ukraine, such as politician and tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, a friend of the Kremlin leader.

A third British prisoner, Andrew Hill, 35, a father of four from Plymouth, was also told he could face the death penalty if his sentence was announced.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/powerful-vladimir-putin-ally-sees-27213834 Vladimir Putin's 'powerful' ally 'sees no reason' to pardon British fighters' death sentence - World News

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