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Moroccan mercenary’s lawyer says defendant a victim of Ukrainian propaganda — agency

Brahim Saadoun have drawn up an appeal against his death sentence

DONETSK, June 29. /TASS/. The defense lawyers for Brahim Saadoun, a Moroccan national who fought in Donbass for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, have drawn up an appeal against his death sentence, the Donetsk news agency said on Wednesday, citing his lawyer Yelena Vesnina.

"I have already drawn up a cassation appeal. It will be translated now, so that my client can read it, and I will be submitting it either on Friday or Monday," the agency reported citing Vesnina.

According to the lawyer, she plans to appeal to the youth of her client who fell victim to Ukrainian propaganda, which had shaped his distorted impression of Donbass. In the lawyer’s view, the crucial moment is that Brahim had not taken part in any armed conflicts before.

Earlier, a source familiar with the case told TASS that a psychiatric examination found out that Brahim Saadoun suffers from psychopathy, although the diagnosis made by the specialists is not an illness, but has determined the features of his character. It was reported that Saadoun had studied at a university in Kiev and had done a technical degree there.

On June 9, the Criminal Appeals Chamber of the DPR Supreme Court handed the death penalty to Moroccan citizen Brahim Saadoun and UK citizens Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, who had been captured in Donbass, on charges of taking part in combat operations for Ukrainian armed formations as mercenaries.

On June 16, the convicts received copies of the translated court ruling on their case. It was said that the lawyer of a defendant could file an appeal within a month after the verdict is read out, while a defendant can do so within a month after receiving a copy of the verdict.

DPR Foreign Minister Natalya Nikonorova said the court would first have to decide until a judicial deadline on whether to consider the appeals that may be submitted by the death-sentenced foreign mercenaries.

Pinner’s lawyers have already appealed the sentence, asking the court of cassation to commute his sentence to life in prison. A cassation appeal against Aslin’s death sentence may be filed by the end of this week, his lawyer Pavel Kosovan told the Donetsk news agency on Wednesday.