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Russian citizens detained in Donbas facing "maximum penalty" — Kiev military prosecutor

August 26, 2015, 13:26 UTC+3 KIEV
"You should not even doubt what the court’s decision will be," said Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios
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TV screen showing Alexander Alexandrov

TV screen showing Alexander Alexandrov

© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

KIEV, August 26. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has completed an investigation into the case of Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev detained by the Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine, Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios told a press briefing in the Ukrainian crisis media center.

"The law enforcement agencies have completed the pre-trial investigation of Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev detained in the Luhansk Region," he said.

"They are facing the maximum penalty on all counts. You should not even doubt what the court’s decision will be," he told the press briefing.

Matios noted that both detainees "had been granted access to lawyers and defense at the expense of Ukraine" and promised that the trial "would be public."

According to the military prosecutor, there is evidence that Alexandrov and Yerofeyev had allegedly "killed Ukrainians in the country."

Ukraine’s Military Prosecutor’s Office earlier filed new charges against the two Russian citizens.

"New evidence has surfaced, many new counts, absolutely new investigation team. The case is now overseen by Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General’s Office, hence, the new supervisor of the pre-trial proceedings, and the number of counts has grown significantly," Yerofeyev’s lawyer Oksana Sokolovskaya said.

Alexandrov and Yerofeyev were detained by the Ukrainian military on May 16 near the town of Schastye in the Luhansk Region. The Ukrainian authorities said that the detainees were allegedly Russian servicemen. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said on May 18 that "Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev captured by the Ukrainian Security Service in the Luhansk Region were not active duty military personnel at the moment of their detention."

On May 22, a district court in Kiev arrested the two Russian citizens. The Kiev Court of Appeal ruled on June 10 that they should remain in custody, thereby confirming the ruling of the court of original jurisdiction.

The trial of Alexandrov and Yerofeyev is scheduled for September.

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