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Austria prosecuted Ukrainian for drone shipments to Ukraine, but court said not guilty

An Austrian court cleared a Ukrainian refugee accused of violating laws by delivering commercial drones to his hometown, which Austria claimed were military supplies.
austria prosecuted ukrainian commercial drone shipments ukraine court said guilty city courthouse sankt plten where tried sending drones google mapskalmr rbert citycourthouseinsanktpltenaustria
City courthouse in Sankt Pölten, Austria, where a Ukrainian was tried for sending drones to Ukraine. Photo: Google Maps/Kalmár Róbert.
Austria prosecuted Ukrainian for drone shipments to Ukraine, but court said not guilty

An Austrian court has acquitted a Ukrainian national who was accused of violating EU sanctions by sending drone shipments to his home country in September 2023.

Ukrinform says the 34-year-old IT professional, who had fled to neutral Austria in April 2022 to escape the war, purchased several drones in Austria, shipped them to his hometown in Ukraine and sold them there last September. According to the information released by the court, the case heard on 16 April concerned “a man born in 1989 for criminal offences in relations with third countries (sale of military materials to Ukraine) between 18 and 27 September 2023 in Seitenstetten.”

A 34-year-old man pleaded not guilty to charges of violating EU sanctions against Russia: through an interpreter, he claimed that deliveries were allowed if the territories were controlled by Ukraine and not Russia. This was the case in [his hometowm of] Zaporizhzhia. The judge also found no violation of the law,” APA news agency reported, Ukrainform says.

The acquittal verdict has not yet entered into force as prosecutors could still appeal.

Austria itself has not supplied weapons or military equipment to Ukraine due to its policy of neutrality, though it has not blocked other nations from doing so through mechanisms like the EU’s European Peace Facility.

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