MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russians convicted of collaboration with former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime had their verdict overturned Wednesday, but they have not been acquitted and their case will now go to a civilian court, a Russian consular official said.
The two Russians, Vladimir Dolgov and Alexander Shadrov, as well as 19 Ukrainians and three Belarusians, were arrested in the fall of 2011 by the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya. They were accused of taking part in military operations on the side of troops loyal to the ousted former Libyan leader.
Shadrov, who was charged with coordinating the group, was sentenced to life in prison. Other defendants, including Dolgov, were sentenced to ten years.
“Their appeal was considered today; the verdict against the Russians was annulled but that does not mean that they have been exonerated,” Ilya Rayevsky told RIA Novosti.
“The case has been transferred from a military to a civilian court,” he said, adding it will take three days to complete the transfer.
Now the two Russians are “not convicts but detainees,” and will face a new trial, Rayevsky said, adding it was not clear when the new trial will start or whether the charges against them will be the same.
“We do not know yet what charges will be brought against them now,” he said.
In mid-February, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was doing all it could to ensure their release and repatriation.
Rebels in Libya ousted and killed long-standing dictator Gadhafi in October 2011 after a months-long military standoff, in which they received assistance from NATO forces.