Russian court will question the defense witness in Nadia Savchenko’s case. Volodymyr Ruban, Ukrainian military expert and leader of the Centre for Prisoners’ Release negotiating on the exchange of prisoners, will be questioned on Monday, 112 Ukraine TV channel reported. The hearing of Nadia’s sister Vira Savchenko was postponed.
“Ruban is expected to explain details of the exchange of prisoners (between warring sides in eastern Ukraine). Vira will, most likely, be summoned to testify on Wednesday. Previously, the defense team said that the verdict in the case is already signed in the Kremlin. But it’s vital that we know what foreign diplomats – and they will be present at the hearing – think about this situation. It’s gone too far, and charges against the second of Savchenko sisters will be viewed as total discrediting of the court system in Russia, so the court won’t do this” , said Nadia Savchenko’s lawyer Ilya Novikov in the commentary to 112 Ukraine TV channel.
Nadia Savchenko, Ukraine’s MP and former officer of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, stays in pre-trail detention in Russia since summer 2014. The fighter pilot is charged with murder of two Russian TV reporters who at the time worked in the combat area in Donbas without official permission of the Ukrainian government. Prosecutors insist Savchenko allegedly adjusted fire during the attack of Ukrainian servicemen, which killed the reporters. Savchenko is also charged with illegal crossing of Russian border. The fighter pilot, her defense team and the Ukrainian government deny all charges and demand to release her.
It is expected that the verdict in Savchenko’s case will be pronounced by the end of the year.