Dutch court releases two Ukrainian prisoners to fight Russia

They must avoid committing any other offences, return to sit their pre-trial detention if requested by the court, and, if required, carry out their sentences if the court still decides to sentence them.  [Shutterstock/Pixel-Shot]

A court in Breda has ordered the early release of two Ukrainians, so they can fight the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

The two Ukrainian men, aged 27 and 29, had been in custody for six months for human smuggling charges.

Both men are from Lutsk, a city in northwest Ukraine. Last September, they were arrested on a yacht after trying to smuggle a group of Albanians into the UK.

The lawyer defending the two men had previously asked the court to grant their release so they could go back home and defend their country from the invasion. The court granted their release, finding that the situation was of “special and serious circumstances” and noting that the two men were “insistent” to go home to fight.

However, the two were released upon several conditions.

They must avoid committing any other offences, return to sit their pre-trial detention if requested by the court, and, if required, carry out their sentences if the court still decides to sentence them.

In late February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decided to release inmates to fight the war against Russia.

“Under martial law, Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots of the conflict,” Zelenskyy said.

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