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Eastern Europeans convicted as Libya mercenaries

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Eastern Europeans convicted as Libya mercenaries


A group of foreign nationals has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for helping former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Nineteen men from Ukraine, three from Belarus and a Russian have been found guilty of cooperating with the toppled leader.

A military court in Tripoli handed down the punishment, which includes hard labour.

The convicted men were employed by a foreign oil company, then were forced to work on anti-aircraft missiles after the war broke out according to Ukraine’s ambassador to Libya Mykola Nahornyi.

“We will continue our efforts to appeal and our final goal is to bring these citizens home,” he said.

One of the Russians has been sentenced to life in prison. His country’s embassy plans to appeal all the convictions.

Although the men are accused of working on weapons meant to target NATO and western planes during the conflict, they were never fired and NATO has not lodged a complaint.

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