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Savchenko to stay in pre-trial detention ward until her prison sentence comes into force

March 23, 16:47 UTC+3
Russian court sentenced Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko to 22 years in a general regime penal colony and a fine worth 30,000 rubles ($442) a day earlier on Tuesday
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© EPA/STRINGER

MOSCOW, March 23 /TASS/. Ukrainian national Nadezhda Savchenko convicted to 22 years in jail will stay in a pre-trial detention ward of the territorial bodies of the Federal Penitentiary Service before her prison sentence comes into force. After that, she will be sent to a general regime penal colony, Kristina Belousova, the Federal Penitentiary Service Spokeswoman, said.

"It is still unclear to what particular colony Savchenko will go. Her relatives or any other person whom she chooses will be notified of that later," Belousova went on to say.

She explained that a verdict passed by a court of lower jurisdiction comes into force after the period of appeals formally expires if the litigating parties have not filed any appeals.

"Savchenko, who is being constantly watched by doctors, feels normal," the representative of the Federal Penitentiary Service added.

A court in the Russian city of Donetsk sentenced Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko to 22 years in a general regime penal colony and a fine worth 30,000 rubles ($442) a day earlier on Tuesday.

Savchenko was found guilty of murdering VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin; of an attempt to kill civilians and of illegal crossing of the Russian state border.

Savchenko’s prison term will be calculated from the date of detention - June 30, 2014. Her prison sentence will last for 20 years and 3 months.

Savchenko earlier said she disagreed with the verdict but would not appeal the court ruling.

The sentence will come into force in 10 days if the ex-pilot does not submit an appeal.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, meanwhile, has said he is ready to exchange Russians Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov who have been detained in Ukraine for convicted Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.

"I am ready to hand over the two Russian servicemen who were detained in our territory for taking part in a military aggression against Ukraine to Russia. The trial against them is in the final stage. I am ready to use certain procedures to ensure their departure from Ukraine as soon as the trial is over," Poroshenko said in his address upon learning that Savchenko had been convicted.

According to him, such an approach will be in line with point 6 of the Minsk agreements under which the sides in the Donbas conflict should exchange prisoners according to the all for all principle.

Poroshenko said that Ukraine would never recognize Savchenko’s verdict as fair. He believes that Ukraine and other countries should impose individual sanctions on all the people linked to the verdict.

Ukrainian servicemen detained the two Russians, Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, near the Schastye village in Ukraine’s Lugansk region on May 16, 2015 on charges of illegal crossing of the Ukrainian border, illegal carriage of weapons and terrorist links. The Russians are facing a life sentence.

Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev did not plead guilty on any of the counts. Their lawyers said the two should be treated like prisoners of war because they were serving in the people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) at the time they were detained. The lawyers demand the trial of Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev be held in strict compliance with the Geneva Convention.

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