As reported by a correspondent for Censor.NET, the Obolonskyi district court of Kyiv started passing sentence to the former members of the Tornado Company.
Former company commander Onyshchenko told the reporters before the hearing that no one of those in the dock admitted their guilt.
"Everyone is waiting for a call from Matios - whether he will order [to sentence us to] 15 or 20 years," the former commander said.
The accused soldiers have hung out the flag of the detachment inside the prisoner's box which they called the "aquarium."
Onyshchenko is wearing a T-shirt reading: "Commander who has never hidden behind his guys."
One of the lawyers said before the hearing that the Tornado soldiers expected no acquittal and intended to file an appeal.
Tornado Special Forces Company was earlier a part of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine. Eight Tornado soldiers, including its commander Ruslan Onyshchenko, were detained on charges of local residents' abduction, holding them in captivity, torture, murder, rape, and a number of other serious crimes in June 2015. Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov signed the order to disband Tornado Company on July 18, 2015. The unit has been finally undone, while its commander Ruslan Onyshchenko and several soldiers are being tried.
The prosecution requests for the maximum penalty for company commander Ruslan Onyshchenko, his deputy Mykola Tsukur and fighter Danylo Liashuk in the form of a 15-year imprisonment. Fighters Illia Kholod, Anatolii Plamadiala and Maksym Hliebov are facing 12 years in prison, Mykyta Kushch - 11, Borys Hulchuk - 10, Roman Ivashov, Andrii Demchuk and Mykyta Svyrydovskyi - eight years each if the prosecution's motion is granted. Yurii Shevchenko, who has partially admitted his guilt, may be given a three-year probation.
As reported, the rally in support of the Tornado members was held outside the court during hearing of their case in August 2016. However, the law enforcement officers did not let those who were not participants in the trial to attend a closed court session which caused several clashes. More than 20 members of the National Guard and police were injured as the protesters employed sticks, stones, batons, and tear gas against them.
Related materials: Tornado