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Motion on inquiry to PACE on ex-Ukrainian pilot Savchenko’s immunity rejected — lawyer

September 15, 2015, 19:31 UTC+3 DONETSK

The defense says the legal interests of its client in Russia are infringed upon, but Russian federal law enforcement structures flatly deny that

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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Vyacheslav Prokofiyev/TASS Archive

DONETSK /Rostov Region/, September 15. /TASS/. A Russian court has denied the defense of former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, accused in Russia of complicity in the murder of two Russian TV journalists in Donbas, the right to file to PACE a motion on her immunity from criminal prosecution, a lawyer, Mark Feygin, said Tuesday after a hearing of the Donetsk City Court in south Russia’s Rostov Region.

"We will appeal extension of arrest to the Rostov Regional Court," Feygin said. Earlier he said the court was given "a new request on the part of the defense on an inquiry to PACE on the effect of immunity of a delegate regarding the accused."

The defense says the legal interests of its client in Russia are infringed upon, but Russian federal law enforcement structures flatly deny that.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Tuesday Savchenko’s rights in Russia during preliminary investigation were ensured more than envisioned by law.

"I can boldly say that unlike similar cases with Russian nationals in custody in Ukrainian territory, Savchenko’s rights were secured in full, and even more," Markin said.

Savchenko is accused of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists in the Luhansk Region, as well as illegal crossing of the border with Russia. The materials of her case were separated from the general case on Ukrainian servicemen committing genocide and using banned means and methods of war.

The period of investigation on her case has been extended until November 13. If found guilty, Savchenko faces up to life in prison.

According to investigators, during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17, 2014, Savchenko, who was an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, from the location of the Aidar battalion — a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry — in the vicinity of the village of Metallist secretly adjusted artillery fire on a section of the Luhansk People’s Republic militia's roadblock with civilians, including three Russian journalists.

As a result, VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed.

Savchenko does not admit her guilt.

The legal proceedings in Russia on Savchenko have become an issue for sharp debate both in Ukraine and the West. Russia is accused of fabricating a criminal case. But Markin said Savchenko’s case "from the viewpoint of investigation is… not the most complicated in terms of establishing her guilt."

Ukraine claims Savchenko was abducted by Russian special services from Ukraine. But the Russian Investigative Committee said the claim is a "fake", and "Savchenko crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border on her own, doing it illegally, without an ID."

Kiev has made "retaliatory" steps: on September 12, Ukraine’s state border service reported that it detained two Russians, including a serviceman, on its territory. On the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry said Ukrainian special services abducted Russian contract serviceman Viktor Barsukov from the locality of Chertkovo in the Rostov Region in southern Russia.

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