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Vladimir Putin’s separatists have vowed to execute two captured British fighters facing the death sentence in Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Aiden Aslin, 28, was sentenced to death alongside Shaun Pinner, 48, and Morrocan national Brahim Saaudun, 21, on charges of terrorism and acting as mercenaries by a Russian-backed court in the self-proclaimed province of Donetsk after a three-day show trial.

And the only man who is able to pardon the trio has said he sees no grounds to, meaning their death sentences are still set to go ahead.

The leader of Putin-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is likely to hear pardon pleas from the group, but Denis Pushilin has preempted the legal process in the puppet state to suggest he will not grant clemency.

He said: “With the mercenaries, two British, one Moroccan – there was a court hearing, a direct court hearing, they were given lawyers…. Their crimes can be classified as grave and especially grave crimes.

“It was easy enough to predict…that they should be sentenced to capital punishment. My personal opinion is that this is just punishment for those people who came to kill civilians for money from other countries.”

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