The Prosecutor asks punishment for Nadezhda Savchenko

The Prosecutor asks punishment for Nadezhda Savchenko

MOSCOW, March 2. Donetsk city court (Rostov region) will start debate of the parties on business of former Ukrainian army Hope Savchenko, accused of complicity in the murder of Russian journalists.

In connection with a wide public resonance caused by this criminal case, security measures in court will be strengthened at the expense of the police.

According to lawyers, the debate will last two days. The first session will include a final speech by the prosecutors, who are expected to be asked to recognize Savchenko is guilty of the alleged crimes, and will announce the punishment, which, in the opinion of state charge, the defendant deserves. Further to the debate will proceed, the defendant lawyer Ilya Novikov. The speech itself Savchenko and her lawyers Mark Feigin and Nicholas Polozova, scheduled for 3 March.

Savchenko is accused of

According to the prosecution, as an officer of the armed forces of Ukraine, while the location of a paramilitary battalion “Aydar” on June 17, 2014 near the village of Metallist, Slavyanoserbsk district, Luhansk region, Savchenko was conducting secret surveillance and correction of shelling the checkpoint of the militia LNR with him were civilians, including three Russian correspondents VGTRK. In the shelling of journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed.

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Savchenko is accused under three articles of the criminal code: “Murder”, “Attempted murder” and “Illegal border crossing”. Victims of the case found the relatives of the slain journalists, while on an episode with attempt – the VGTRK operator Viktor Denisov and the number of inhabitants of Lugansk, came under artillery fire. To participate in the debate, they refused.

The trial against Savchenko started on September 22 last year. She is 25 July 2015 held in jail-3 of Novocherkassk (30 km from Rostov – on-don and 150 km from Donetsk city court) where it carry on the process. Just detention she is 1 year and 8 months. Guilt Savchenko does not recognise, declaring that never killed unarmed people.

“The only thing I never could do was to direct fire on unarmed people. I’m a soldier, not a murderer. I repeat for the charges. I couldn’t direct the weapon on unarmed people, even if they were enemies. No weapons, no combat. Shoot me, I shoot back. Again in response to the question of the Prosecutor: did I kill people? Yes, I did. Killed those who tried to kill me. Killed those who attacked my land. Killed, defending. Never killed by some malicious intent,” said Savchenko in court. Her defense also claims that during the shelling, which killed journalists, Savchenko was already in captivity and could not be a spotter.

However one of the prosecution witnesses, Egor Russian, who now holds a post of the mayor of the city of Lutugino in the self-proclaimed LNR, said that he made a video of the captivity Savchenko, which was conducted after the shelling. According to the witness, prisoner Savchenko took his colleagues, he saw her already captive. Russian said that after being captured Savchenko the firing ceased, and when resumed, was not accurate.

The probable outcome

Speaking about the possible outcome of the trial, the lawyers have no doubt in conviction. “Of course, the prosecution will ask for 25 years of imprisonment (maximum penalty – approx.TASS), and, of course, the sentence will be accusatory. I think that the judge will adjust a bit of her prison term, but it will be not so small,” said lawyer mark Feigin, expressing hope that to serve the appointed time his client will be in Ukraine. He also stressed that, “regardless of whether the verdict of conviction or acquittal, Savchenko has already decided not to appeal”. In this case, he explained, it actually deprives itself of the possibility of recourse to the European court of human rights (ECHR).