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KIEV, June 9 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian citizens, whom the incumbent Libyan authorities have sentenced to jail terms for an alleged assistance to Muammar Gaddafi’s regime will not serve the full jail terms in Libya, Oleg Voloshin, the chief of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s department for information policies said in an early morning show on Ukrainian state television Saturday.
“The sentence issued to them was tough and unjustified and I can give you the guarantees that these people won’t be serving jail terms there in ten years’ time because we’ll extricate them out of there,” Voloshin said.
He said the Ukrainian government hopes to attain a decision on freeing the citizens through the court of appeals but if these efforts fail to bring any convincing results, then Kiev will enact other instruments of exerting pressure on Libya.
“We’re preparing an appeal right now and the negotiations are in progress simultaneously with it and we have something the Libyan side badly needs today,” Voloshin said.
Kiev was not at all surprised upon learning the sentence to the arrested fellow-countrymen, “since it would totally wrong to claim that these people found themselves in Libya quite by chance.”
“These people didn’t gather fruit there,” Voloshin said. “Recall that the head of the group said he had received threats from the security services and he had to bring together with him a group of individuals who engaged in repairs of Army technologies in the interests of the Gaddafi regime.”
“What kind of clemency would you expect in a situation like this one?” he said somewhat rhetorically.
All the Ukrainians detained by the new Libyan authorities have military education and the fact contradicts somehow the previously made claims that the individuals worked in the Iraqi oil industry.
Voloshin indicated, however, that the detainees would be freed at an early date and “there’s a million percent guarantee for this,” but he added that “it is too early yet to discuss the dates when they can be taken out of jail and on what conditions.”
June 4, a court in Tripoli passed guilty verdicts on 19 Ukrainian citizens who were accused of having acted as accomplices of the Army of the ousted Colonel Gaddafi.
All of them were sentenced to ten years in jail.