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Ukraine: All detained Ukrainian sailors will demand POW status - lawyer03:20

Ukraine: All detained Ukrainian sailors will demand POW status - lawyer

Ukraine, Kiev
December 17, 2018 at 20:53 GMT +00:00 · Published

Mykola Polozov, the leader of a group of lawyers representing the Ukrainian sailors detained as a result of the Kerch Strait incident, claimed that eight of the sailors have already claimed prisoner of war (POW) status, and others are also expected to do so, speaking at press conference in Kiev on Monday.

Polozov claimed that "the Russian authorities, for their own reasons, primarily political, consider these 24 captured prisoners of war to be ordinary criminals who, in an organized group of people, illegally crossed the border of the Russian Federation."

Polozov meanwhile argued that the incident should be qualified as "an armed conflict" and thus the detained sailors should be granted POW status.

"Before the New Year, according to the schedule of the investigation, all lawyers will see their clients, find out their positions. But I have no doubts that, like those 8 sailors who have already stated for the protocol that they are military prisoners, the rest will make exactly the same statements," stressed Polozov.

In November a Russian court ordered the detention of 12 of the 24 sailors until January 25, 2019 following the incident in the Kerch Strait in late November.

The sailors were charged under Part 3 of Art. 322 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation entitled "Illegal crossing of a border, committed by a group of persons by prior agreement or by an organised group, either with the use of violence or with the threat of its use." The article carries a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison.

Ukraine: All detained Ukrainian sailors will demand POW status - lawyer03:20
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Mykola Polozov, the leader of a group of lawyers representing the Ukrainian sailors detained as a result of the Kerch Strait incident, claimed that eight of the sailors have already claimed prisoner of war (POW) status, and others are also expected to do so, speaking at press conference in Kiev on Monday.

Polozov claimed that "the Russian authorities, for their own reasons, primarily political, consider these 24 captured prisoners of war to be ordinary criminals who, in an organized group of people, illegally crossed the border of the Russian Federation."

Polozov meanwhile argued that the incident should be qualified as "an armed conflict" and thus the detained sailors should be granted POW status.

"Before the New Year, according to the schedule of the investigation, all lawyers will see their clients, find out their positions. But I have no doubts that, like those 8 sailors who have already stated for the protocol that they are military prisoners, the rest will make exactly the same statements," stressed Polozov.

In November a Russian court ordered the detention of 12 of the 24 sailors until January 25, 2019 following the incident in the Kerch Strait in late November.

The sailors were charged under Part 3 of Art. 322 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation entitled "Illegal crossing of a border, committed by a group of persons by prior agreement or by an organised group, either with the use of violence or with the threat of its use." The article carries a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison.