ROSTOV-ON-DON, December 23. /TASS/. The defense lawyers of former Ukrainian military servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko have invited an astronomer from the Moscow State University to testify in court in the capacity of an expert. The lawyers claim the specialist can prove that their client had already been taken prisoner by Luhansk militias at the moment when Russian journalists got under artillery fire. One of Savchenko’s lawyers, Ilya Novikov, said that in social network.
"The prosecutors objected to including in the case the opinion of an invited astronomer, Olga Vozyakova, from the Moscow State University. The formal reason was the specialist’s identity was unclear. In order to eliminate all doubts Vozyakova has arrived in Donetsk. She will try to explain to the court and everybody else how the sun can be used to exactly establish the time of video recording," Novikov said.
Savchenko is accused of complicity in the killing of a Russian TV camera crew. The investigators say that on June 17 Savchenko had been directing an artillery strike that killed Russian correspondents Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. After that Savchenko was taken prisoner by local militias, who videoed the process with a mobile telephone. That video recording is part of the evidence presented to court for examination. The defense claims that the video had been made before the fire attack, so their client could not have been the one who was giving instructions to gunners.
"It is done in the following way. The length of shadows is used to determine the moment the video was made. Then the files’ dates are compared to find out when Nadezhda was taken prisoner," Novikov said to explain the reason why an astronomer had to be invited.
On December 17, when a decision was being made whether her arrest was to be prolonged, Savchenko declared she would hunger-strike till the end of the trial. As long the hearings are in progress Savchenko will be taking only water. If convicted, Savchenko said, she would refuse to have water, too.
Savchenko has been on trial since September 22. The investigators say that Nadezhda Savchenko, an officer of the Ukrainian army, on June 17, 2014 was in the area controlled by the para-military battalion Aidar, near the Metallist village of the Slavianoserbsk District of the Luhansk Region. From there Savchenko was monitoring and directing artillery fire against a road block of the Luhansk People’s Republic militias. At the moment there was a group of civilians at the roadblock, including three Russian journalists - correspondents of the Russian television and radio broadcaster VGTRK. Kornelyuk and Voloshin were killed.