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Netherlands Releases Two Prisoners Accused of Human Smuggling So They Can Fight for Ukraine

The Netherlands has released two prisoners who are accused of human smuggling so that they can go and fight for Ukraine.

The two men, aged 27 and 29, are from Lutsk, in northwestern Ukraine.

The duo was arrested and placed in Ter Apel prison in September for allegedly trying to smuggle a group of Albanians into the United Kingdom by boat.

According to the court filing, the court determined that there are “extraordinary, serious circumstances” to free the two men, specifically Ukraine’s call for people to come join the fight against Russia. It said, “the interest that the suspect has in his release outweighs the public interest served by continuing the suspect’s pretrial detention.”

The Dutch News reports, the court found the suspects were “insistent they wish to follow that call,” and that “it is important that they are with their family in Ukraine at this time.”

“The court did say that the two suspects should report back to the Dutch authorities again if ordered to do so and that they must agree to sit out any sentence once their trial has been held. In addition, they should refrain from committing any crimes while their remand has been lifted,” the report continued.

When questioned by the Dutch media about what guarantee they have that the men will return to complete their sentences, court spokeswoman Carine Marsé said that they would be arrested if they tried to enter the Netherlands again.

The men are facing a maximum of 18 years in prison if convicted.

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