Nadiya Savchenko appeal hearing due on July 25


The appeal hearing is due on Friday against the detention of Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko.  She has been remanded in custody by a Russian court until August 31 after being captured by Kremlin-backed militants in the Luhansk  oblast of Ukraine. 

Savchenko’s lawyer, Mark Feygin explains that at present they will be seeking for the restrain measure to be changed to one not involving detention.  He reports on Twitter that given the conflicting versions as to how Savchenko came to be in Russia, she will be brought to court unlike the last time.  Later, however, he writes that he has already received indications that his client will again be on a video conference link from the SIZO or remand unit.  He stresses that nobody is entitled to make the appeal against Savchenko’s detention behind closed doors, and invites journalists and the public to attend.

Judging by the experiences of Ukrainian journalist from TV 2 + 2, Yevhen Aharkov, other excuses might be found for preventing his Ukrainian colleagues from attending.

Nadiya Savchenko had been in the volunteer battalion Aidar for 30 days when she was taken prisoner by the militants near the city of Shchastye in the Luhansk oblast on June 17 or 18.  Two days later a video appeared of her being interrogated by the militants. She demonstrated courage during the interrogation and refused to provide the information the militants demanded.

Russia’s Investigative Committee announced on July 9 that charges had been laid against Savchenko for alleged “complicity in the group killing of two or more people carrying out official activities in a publicly hazardous manner for motives of political hatred”.

The investigators claim that in June, as a member of the Aidar Battalion, Savchenko found out the whereabouts of a group of TV Rossiya journalists and other civilians outside Luhansk, and passed these to fighters who carried out a mortar attack which killed TV Rossiya employees Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.

The charges can only be based on claims made by the Kremlin-backed militants. See Russian court recognizes Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics for indications of how far removed this case is from rule of law.

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