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Trial of foreigners who surrendered in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant 

About the case: Five foreigners who fought for the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrendered in Mariupol in the industrial zone of the Azovstal factory. Mathias Gustavsson, Vekoslav Prebeg, John Harding and Dylan Healy are accused of training for terrorist activities and mercenarism, Andrew Hill only of training for terrorist activities. As of September 26, 2023, all defendants have been exchanged, but the trial continues.

The case is being considered by a panel of judges Denis Alexandrovich Galkin (presiding), Igor Viktorovich Shendrikov, Dmitry Viktorovich Merkulov of the Southern District Military Court.

After announcing the defense attorneys present at the hearing five attorneys by appointment and the prosecutor D.V. Yunoshev, the court proceeded to the identification of the witness Andrei Igorevich Fedoychuk, who participated by the videoconference, and then explained the rights and duties to the witness.

Interrogation of Fedoychuk.

The judge asked if the witness knew the defendants – the witness answered “no”. Then all the questions were asked by the prosecutor. The witness said that in the spring of 2022 he was at the Azov plant, he does not remember whether there were foreigners there at that time, he does not know whether they spoke English there, Matias Gustavsson is not known to him. He communicated with a certain Mikola, who looked European, tall, white hair, spoke in Ukrainian and Russian, he does not know if he had tattoos, Mikola had problems with his leg, in which unit he served, he also does not know. The witness gave Mikola his trousers, he was not asked to do so by Mikola himself, but by someone else. On May 20, 2022, the witness surrendered into captivity, whether Mikola surrendered into captivity – he did not see, but he saw him later in the court in Donetsk, where he himself was a witness. At the stage of investigation he seemed to recognize Mikola. He does not remember his nationality.

The prosecutor requested the disclosure of the witness’s testimony given during the investigation and at the hearing in another case because it contradicted the current testimony. The defense attorneys did not object. The judge granted the request.

The prosecutor read out the record of the witness’s interrogation, the record of the hearing, and after each of the documents the witness, answering the prosecutor’s question, confirmed the testimony read out. It follows that at the Azov plant the witness heard English-speaking speech and met a Swede, aged 40-50, whom he then identified as Matthias Gustavsson.

The court asked the prosecutor to “read something else”. The prosecutor read the interview transcript of Matthias Gustavsson as well as the interview transcript of John Harding. In the protocol it is recorded that he is a British citizen, electrical engineer, concussed, served until 2015 in the UK (in the airborne troops), in 2015 went to Syria to earn money, participated for 2 years on the side of the Kurds, in 2018 came to Kiev, in Mariupol taught tactical medicine. Suffers from amnesia. Trained Ukrainians to provide medical assistance, had a Kalashnikov assault rifle, surrendered as a prisoner of war.

As the court needs to hear another case, the judge announces a break.

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