Things you should know about the trials of Savchenko and Russian military: key facts

Source : 112 Ukraine

Two trials which attracted the attention of the whole country, are about to complete
13:27, 25 May 2016

112 Agency

The process of exchange Russian military Yerofeyev and Alexandrov for Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko entered the final phase. According to unofficial information, Petro Poroshenko has already pardoned the Russian intelligence servicemen, and the exchange of them for Nadiya Savchenko took  place in Rostov. Some media reported that Savchenko is already flying to Ukraine, but there are no confirmations from lawyers or from the Ukrainian leadership yet.

Let’s recall the most important facts about these two trials.

Savchenko’s Case

Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko was captured by pro-Russian terrorists in the ATO zone in the east of Ukraine in the middle of June 2014. Russian investigation accused her in the murder of Russian journalists Igor Korneliuk and Anton Voloshin. In addition, according to investigators, she illegally crossed the state border of the Russian Federation. The lawyers and the defendant insisted on her innocence. Protection notes that the aviator was captured before the shelling, which killed journalists, and was forcibly taken to the Russian Federation. The lawyers have also repeatedly said that in the case there are lots of inconsistencies.

On March 3 after the debate of the parties the court did not allow Savchenko to say the last word and rescheduled the hearing. On the same day it her last word was published, in which she reiterated: "I do not admit any guilt or sentencing, or of the Russian court."

The court began to announce her sentence on March 21st. The proceedings lasted for almost 8 hours. The next day, the court went on to read out the verdict and acknowledged Ukrainian woman guilty of complicity in the murder of Russian journalists and illegal border crossing. According to the verdict, the court sentenced her to a 18 years in prison for the murder of Russian journalists Igor Korneliuk and Anton Voloshin, and as 10 years in prison - for an attempt on the life of the inhabitants of the so-called "Luhansk Republic" as well as a fine of 80 thousand rubles - for illegal border crossing, which was reduced to 30 thousand rubles in terms of her detention since 30 June 2014.

By partial summation of punishments Savchenko was sentenced to a 22 years' imprisonment in a penal colony.

Immediately thereafter, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed readiness to exchange 2 detained in Ukraine Russian military for Savchenko.

Case of Russian Special Service officers

Captain Evgeniy Yerofeyev and Sergeant Alexander Alexandrov were captured near Schastia settlement in Lugansk region in evening, on May 16, 2015. Both had gunshot  wounds.  In the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic," they were called "soldiers of people’s police."

In a conversation with OSCE representatives Russians reported that they were the military personnel in Ukraine, they were sent to conduct reconnaissance, but not to participate in hostilities. However, according to the General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russian servicemen were detained during an armed conflict, and in this conflict one Ukrainian soldier was killed and three wounded.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Alexandrov and Yerofeyev at that time did not belong to the military personnel, military lawyers reported that their clients were serving under contract in the "people's police of LNR".

May 22, 2015 the Court has chosen arrest as the measure of restraintfor both Russian commandos. On September 17 they received the indictments, on 10 November judicial hearings started. Each of them was accused of conducting a war of aggression, promoting activities of a terrorist organization, moving weapons and ammunition across the border of Ukraine, violating of the order of entry in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, carrying, storage and transfer of firearms, ammunition without lawful authority and committing a terrorist act, that is, the use of weapons with the intention to provoke a military conflict, the international complications that led to the death of a person.

They have pleaded not guilty at court. Prosecutors asked to 15 years imprisonment for them.

On April 18 their sentence was read out - 14 years imprisonment with confiscation of property.

Russian servicemen were found guilty of waging aggressive war, creating of a terrorist group or organization, committing a terrorist act.

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