ROSTOV-ON-DON, Sep 5 Southern District Military the court in Rostov-on-Don will consider the case of foreign mercenaries who took part in the hostilities in the Donbass as part of the Azov nationalist brigade*, in the absence of defendants, the press service of the court told reporters.
“A decision was made behind closed doors on the basis of the response of the prosecutor about the location of the defendants to consider the case in the absence of the defendants,” the report says.
The criminal case against five foreign mercenaries who fought on the side of Ukraine in the Donbass was submitted to the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don at the end of April. At the end of May, the first meeting was held, at which, at the request of the prosecutor, the court decided to send a request to the main directorate of the military police of the Russian Ministry of Defense to establish the whereabouts of the defendants. During previous meetings, the prosecutor reported that the answer had not yet been received.
As previously reported, in August 2022, Swedish citizen Matthias Gustavsson, Croatian citizen Vekoslav Prebeg and Briton John Harding were charged with crimes under the articles “forcible seizure of power or forcible retention of power” and “participation of a mercenary in an armed conflict or hostilities.”
British Andrew Hill was charged with a crime under the article “participation of a mercenary in an armed conflict or hostilities”, and Briton Dylan Healy – with “assistance in the recruitment of mercenaries for use in an armed conflict.” In the DPR court, all five foreign citizens stated that they did not agree with the accusation and did not admit their guilt.
During the first hearing in the case in Rostov-on-Don, the judge said that “reports were received from the State Penitentiary Service of the DPR Ministry of Justice, from which it is envisaged that these persons, in accordance with the resolution of the DPR State Defense Committee dated September 20, 2022, “On some issues of the transfer of prisoners” were transferred to authorized persons.
* Terrorist organization banned in Russia.