Markiv case: International working group finds gaps in actions of Italian investigative bodies, court

Source : 112 Ukraine

According to the report, Italian justice did not take into account the legal status of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the evidence base contained insufficiently researched facts, and media coverage of the case could have affected jurors
10:38, 6 October 2020

Markiv case

An international working group of lawyers initiated by the Memorial Human Rights Center (Russia) and the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine) has released preliminary results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the investigation into the death of Italian photojournalist Andrea Rockelli, Russian dissident Andrei Mironov, and French human rights activist William Rogelon on May 24, 2014, near Slovyansk. This was reported on the website of the Center for Civil Liberties.

The working group, with the participation of international lawyers from the Center for the Promotion of International Defense (France), identified the following shortcomings in the actions of the Italian investigative bodies and judiciary:

1. The Italian judiciary did not take into account the legal status of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

2. The evidence base, which the court used to make a decision, contained insufficiently researched facts, the methodology of their analysis is unclear.

3. Coverage of the trial in the Italian press and the negative social background that accompanied it could have had a negative impact on compliance with the principle of the presumption of innocence.

4. Lack of balance in presenting the positions of the two parties to the trial - the murdered and the accused.

According to members of the above-mentioned working group, such a public background could have had a significant impact on the outcome of the trial.

Related: Russian propaganda used in Markiv's case, - The NYT

As we reported earlier, 31-year-old Andrea Rocchelli was a freelance photojournalist who had come to Donbas to cover the military conflict, together with his interpreter, Russian human rights activist Andrei Mironov. They died near Sloviansk on May 24,  2014, after the taxi they were driving in came under mortar fire.

According to the prosecution, Markiv was a unit commander, and he knew that there were reporters and pointed on them.

Markiv was found guilty and was sentenced for 24 years.

Related: Crucial tests in Donbas should overturn Italy’s 24-year sentence against Ukrainian soldier Markiv

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