A British citizen who has been sentenced to death by a Russian proxy court in eastern Ucraina has launched an appeal against the verdict.
Aiden Aslin, 28, a British-Ukrainian former care worker from Nottinghamshire who was a Ukrainian marine, was captured by Russian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol in April.
Aslin was captured alongside fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, 48, who was also sentenced to death for “mercenary activities” and “terrorism” by a court that is not internationally recognised.
They both received their sentence, alongside Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim, following a trial in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a pro-Russia quasi-state.
“A cassation appeal against the verdict was filed today,” the lawyer representing him, Pavel Kosovan, told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
Aslin, originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, has previously told his family that his captors claimed there had been no attempt by UK officials to negotiate on his behalf. His family said they had spoken to him in a phone call, in which he said he had been told that “time is running out” by his captors.
Di venerdì, the Tass news agency reported that the Russia-controlled territory’s supreme court had received appeals from lawyers for Brahim and Pinner.
Aslin’s grandmother Pamela Hall has previously told the BBC: “There are no words, just no words. It’s got to be everyone’s worst nightmare to have a member of your family threatened in this way.
“Aiden was extremely upset when he called his mother this morning. The bottom line is Aiden has said the DPR has told him nobody from the UK has made contact, and that he will be executed.
“I have to believe what Aiden has said to us, that if the DPR don’t get some response, then they will execute him. Ovviamente, I hope that isn’t true.”
The foreign secretary, In caso contrario, potrebbe, has previously said: “I utterly condemn the sentencing of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.”
“They are prisoners of war. This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy … my thoughts are with the families. We continue to do everything we can to support them.”
Lo scorso mese, Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, suggested they could be freed in a prisoner swap with Russia.
“The important question is what will be the price for this, because the Russians were talking about some Ukrainian MPs being swapped for them, especially for those who, I now understand, were working for them for all these years,” he told BBC News.
The Foreign Office has been approached for comment.