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Ukrainians Accused Of Helping Libya's Qaddafi Forces

KYIV -- Twenty Ukrainians have gone on trial in Libya, charged with assisting the forces of Muammar Qaddafi.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were pressed by the authorities who took over after Qaddafi was ousted and slain in October 2011.

They are accused of assisting Qaddafi's troops in renovating military equipment during last year's deadly clashes between Qaddafi's forces and Libyan opposition fighters.

The ministry said the defendants said they came to Libya to work at oil facilities.

Ukrainian diplomats are being permitted to attend the trial, which the Foreign Ministry said will resume next week.

It was not immediately clear how much prison time the Ukrainians could face if convicted.

In March, three Ukrainians charged with assisting Qaddafi's troops were released and deported to Ukraine.