MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The British authorities have not tried to contact Russia yet over the future of British mercenaries who had participated in hostilities in Donbass on Kiev’s side and currently stand trial in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Wednesday.
"No, there have been no attempts," Peskov said, when asked if the British side had tried to discuss with Russia the possibility of appealing a yet-to-be pronounced sentence or arranging for the mercenaries’ exchange.
Peskov believes that if Britain decides to appeal a future sentence to be handed to the mercenaries, in this way it will in fact recognize the sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the legitimacy of its investigative and judicial authorities.
"That’s what the issue looks like," he said.
On June 4, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Donetsk People’s Republic declared that it had been through with the investigation of criminal cases against Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, of Britain, and Saadoun Brahim, of Marocco. The PGO’s spokesperson said the defendants might face the death penalty. Investigation exposed these foreigners’ complicity in crimes as defined under part 2 of article 34 (crimes committed by a group of persons), article 323 (forcible seizure of power or forcible retention of power) and article 430 (mercenarism) of the DPR Criminal Code.
On Tuesday, UK Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Dominic Raab said that Britain would appeal a possible death sentence the British mercenaries were facing in the DPR.