Aiden Aslin: family of Briton captured by Russian troops in Ukraine plead for his return

Mr Aslin is one of three men accused of being mercenaries for Ukrainian forces

Aiden Aslin, a British fighter captured in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by Russian troops. Reuters
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The family of a British fighter captured by Russian troops in Ukraine have thanked supporters as he faces charges that could carry a death penalty.

Aiden Aslin is one of three men accused of being mercenaries for Ukraine and his family have said they are working with the UK Foreign Office and Ukrainian government to get him home.

The family released a statement through the Foreign Office, describing Mr Aslin as a “much-loved man and very much missed”.

The president of Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk People’s Republic said the region’s supreme court was opening the trial of the three Britons.

Mr Aslin, 28, and one of his co-accused, Shaun Pinner, 48, had appeared in the dock in the pro-Russian territory, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

If the men are convicted of the charges, which include trying to “seize power”, it is feared that the court, which is not internationally recognised, could pass the death penalty.

They were both members of regular Ukrainian military units in Mariupol. The affiliation of a third British man, Andrew Hill, who was captured in the Mykolaiv area, is unclear.

Footage emerged on Tuesday of three men — reported to be Mr Aslin, Mr Pinner and Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim — in what appears to be a court dock.

They spoke only to confirm they were aware of the charges they faced and said they consented to their case proceeding without witness evidence, the BBC reported.

Separatist president Denis Pushilin on Monday claimed “the crimes they committed were monstrous”, according to separatist news agency Dan.

“We, the family of Aiden Aslin, wish to ask for privacy at this time from the media," his relatives said on Tuesday.

“This is a very sensitive and emotional time for our family, and we would like to say thank you to all that have supported us.

“We are currently working with the Ukrainian government and the Foreign Office to try and bring Aiden home. Aiden is a much-loved man and very much missed, and we hope that he will be released very soon.”

UK Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has said the Foreign Office will “make all the representations” on Mr Aslin’s behalf.

“In relation to that case, I don’t know all the details, but of course we would expect the laws of armed conflict to be respected and we will make sure that we will make all the representations," Mr Raab told LBC on Monday.

“I know the Foreign Office will be looking at making sure all those representations are made.”

Updated: June 08, 2022, 5:44 AM
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