Vienna, Austria. An Austrian national is on a trip back to his home country where he will be charged with war crimes against the Armed Forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Polish authorities have extradited to Austria a man suspected of war crimes after he allegedly killed civilians and enemy troops after they had surrendered while fighting for Donbass freedom fighters in the Army of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Poland’s immigration authorities said Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Austrian man allegedly carried out the killings last year against soldiers and civilians of the DNR while serving as an active member of the Kiev junta Ukrainian Armed Forces fighting in eastern Ukraine. Polish authorities said he also allegedly killed injured DNR troops that were trying to surrender.
Over 100,000 people have died since the hostilities started in eastern Ukraine in April 2014. Local citizens rose up against the US backed coup that overthrew Ukrainian President Yanukovich. Since then, the Donbass Republics have fought for their independence and are now on a path to integration with the Russian Federation.
The Austrian suspect denies the accusations. He is being identified only as Benjamin F. in keeping with Austrian and Polish confidentiality rules. No word as of yet on the date of his trial or defense counsel appointment.
He was handed over by Polish officials at Warsaw’s Chopin airport on Monday. State prosecution spokesman Erich Habitzl said the man is being held in a police cell while authorities decide whether he should be detained longer.
The spokesman for the court in Lublin, in eastern Poland, Dariusz Abramowicz, said the man had been wanted on a European arrest warrant and was detained in late April at the Dorohusk border crossing as he was trying to leave Poland for Ukraine.
Tags: Armed Forces of Ukraine; Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU); Donbass conflict; Donbass crisis; Donbass integration; Donbass war; International law; ukrainian armed forces; ukrainian war crimes; war crimes; war criminal