Russians Captured A Briton In Ukraine; He Files An Appeal Against The Death Penalty

An appeal has been filed against the death sentence given to a British national by a Russian-appointed court in eastern Ukraine.

In April, Russian forces kidnapped Aiden Aslin, a 28-year-old British-Ukrainian former care worker from Nottinghamshire who was a Ukrainian marine.

Aslin was apprehended alongside fellow British citizen Shaun Pinner, 48, who was also given the death penalty for “mercenary operations” and “terrorism” by an unrecognised court.

Following a trial in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a pro-Russian quasi-state, they were all sentenced, along with Moroccan Saaudun Brahim.

According to Pavel Kosovan, his attorney, a cassation appeal against the judgement was filed today, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Aslin, who is originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, has previously disclosed to his family that his kidnappers have asserted that UK officials have not attempted to negotiate on his behalf. In a phone chat with his family, he allegedly told them that his captors had told him that “time is running out.”

The supreme court of the zone under Russian control received appeals from Brahim and Pinner’s attorneys, according to a report from the Tass news agency on Friday.

There are simply no words, Aslin’s grandmother Pamela Hall earlier told the BBC. Being threatened in this way by a member of your family must be everyone’s worst nightmare.

“When Aiden contacted his mother this morning, he was really upset. In the end, Aiden claims that the DPR informed him that no one from the UK has contacted him and that he will be put to death.

“I have to believe what Aiden told us, that the DPR will put him to death if they don’t receive a response. Of course, I hope that’s not the case.

“I absolutely deplore the sentencing of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner imprisoned by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine,” the foreign secretary Liz Truss had stated.

They are war prisoners. This is a bogus decision with no basis in reality. My heart goes out to the families. We’ll keep doing everything we can to help them.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, said last month that they might be released in exchange for Russian prisoners.

The key concern, he told BBC News, is “what will be the price for this, because the Russians were talking about certain Ukrainian MPs being switched for them, especially for those who, I now learn, were working for them for all these years.”

A request for comment has been made to the Foreign Office.

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