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Ex-pilot Savchenko pleads not guilty to murder of Russians in eastern Ukraine

September 22, 2015, 15:22 UTC+3
The woman told the court she plans to pass a lie detector test to prove her innocence
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

DONETSK/Rostov region/, September 22. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko refused to admit her guilt in the killing of Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine last summer at the trial in the Donetsk court in southern Russia on Tuesday.

"The whole case is a lie from the beginning to the end. I did not see where the journalists were and I never knew them. I never shot at unarmed people. I never was a gunner of artillery. I am a soldier, not a killer," Savchenko said.

Savchenko said she was forcedly taken from Ukraine’s territory to Russia. The Ukrainian also told the court she plans to pass a lie detector test to prove her innocence.

"I will not simply give evidence, but I want to do it with the use of a lie detector. In one word, I was already questioned with the use of a polygraph and it showed that I do not lie and these materials were not included in the criminal case," she said.

Savchenko said she wants all the other people to give evidence using a polygraph.

The trial of Savchenko began in the southern Russian court earlier on Tuesday. The criminal case consists of 42 volumes.

Lawyer Ilya Novikov said: "We are not ready for the questioning today," asking the judge to start interrogating Savchenko’s sister Vera, who was taken out from the courtroom as the judicial investigation began.

The court said the judicial investigation should continue with the questioning of witnesses from the side of the prosecutors and allow Savchenko to give evidence at any moment.

The lawyer also said the defense team would ask for a reexamination of evidence.

Savchenko, 34, is charged with complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine last summer. Savchenko also stands charged with attempted murder of civilians who could suffer as a result of artillery fire and illegally crossing the Russian border.

Russian investigators claim that Savchenko joined the notorious Aidar battalion during combat operations in the much-troubled Luhansk region of Ukraine in June 2014.

Upon noting the position of a filming crew of the Russian State Broadcasting Company and other civilians, Savchenko allegedly reported the data to mortar-equipped personnel who opened fire on the crew and the civilians. As a result, correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed.

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