MOSCOW, June 4 (Itar-Tass) — The verdict of a Libyan court martial to Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens in Libya is unfair and unjustifiably severe, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, June 4.
“Moscow was surprised and angered by such unfair and unjustifiably severe verdict,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. “This ruling is all the more hard to understand in light of the intensive contacts undertaken over the last several months by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tripoli with the Libyan authorities on this matter and their assurances that the trial would be objective and impartial,” he said.
Citizens of three former Soviet Union republics who were employed by the Russian-Libyan oil company Dakar were detained by rebels at the end of August 2011 during the fighting for Tripoli.
At first, they were regarded as hired snipers abetting the Gaddafi troops. However, later it was found out that they had no weapons and that almost half of the detainees were elderly people unfit for military service.
Later two Ukrainian citizens, including one woman, were released and repatriated.
For a long time no official accusations were made against the detainees.