Ukraine sends requests to Belarus for extradition of 28 Wagner group mercenaries
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has sent requests to Belarus for the extradition of 28 participants in the armed conflict in Donbas, the PGO’s press service has reported on its Telegram channel.
“On August 11, 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office turned to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus with requests to extradite 28 people detained by the law enforcement agencies of Belarus on July 29, 2020,” the report reads.
According to the report, all 28 individuals, including nine Ukrainians, are suspected of participating in a terrorist organization (Part 1 of Article 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Kyiv’s Shevchenkivsky District Court chose measures of restraint for the suspects in the form of detention.
The investigation established that these individuals took an active part in hostilities in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions as part of the terrorist organizations “LPR” and “DPR.”
The PGO recalled that on the basis of a request from the main investigation department of Ukraine’s SBU Security Service on July 31, 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office addressed the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus with a letter of intent to request the extradition of these individuals and with a request to take them into custody according to Article 61 of the 1993 Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters.
According to the report, on August 6, 2020, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova in a phone call with Prosecutor General of Belarus Alexander Konyuk also confirmed her intention to request the extradition of 28 people.
The issue of extradition of the requested persons will be decided by the competent authorities of Belarus, the report said.
On July 29, Belarusian law enforcement agencies detained 33 people who turned out to be mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner private military group.
Ukraine asked Belarus to extradite 28 of the 33 detained individuals who, according to Kyiv, took part in the fighting in Donbas against Ukraine.
On August 5, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was ready to cooperate with Ukraine on the issues of detained militants from the Wagner group.
On August 6, he invited the prosecutors general of Russia and Ukraine to Belarus to clarify the situation with the detained militants.