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The guilt of Russian citizens facing life sentence in Ukraine not determined — lawyer

August 26, 2015, 14:31 UTC+3 KIEV
According to the lawyer, the guilt of Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev had been determined on only one count, illegal border crossing
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Yevgeny Yerofeyev

Yevgeny Yerofeyev

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, August 26. /TASS/. Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev are facing life in prison, Yerofeyev’s lawyer Oksana Sokolovskaya told TASS on Wednesday.

"The maximum penalty — life sentence — may be chosen for Alexandrov and Yerofeyev," Sokolovskaya said. She noted that their guilt had been determined on only one count — "illegal border crossing." One may possibly agree with the ‘illegal possession of weapons,’ all the rest is unprovable," the lawyer said.

Sokolovskaya recalled that the Ukrainian Military Prosecutor’s Office "had filed new charges against Alexandrov and Yerofeyev, in particular, the conduct of aggressive warfare, illegal border crossing, illegal transfer of arms and ammunition, illegal possession of weapons, illegal entry to the occupied territories, that is, a host of additional counts."

The lawyer argues that all charges and groundless. "So far I see reasonable charges brought," Sokolovskaya said, adding that the defense would file an appeal.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios told a press briefing in the Ukrainian crisis media center 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 on the territory of the country."

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."

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