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Court upholds arrest of Ukraine's Savchenko charged over reporters deaths

July 10, 2014, 13:38 UTC+3 10 10/7
The district court issued a warrant to arrest the suspect and hold her in custody until August 30
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Ukrainian army officer Nadezhda Savchenko

Ukrainian army officer Nadezhda Savchenko

© AP Photo/Igor Golovniov

VORONEZH, July 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian citizen Nadezhda Savchenko charged with complicity in murder of reporters of the Russian state television and radio broadcasting company (VGTRK) will remain under arrest until August 30.

The Voronezh regional court upheld the ruling to hold her in custody, rejecting her defense's appeal, according to the court's spokesperson Lada Petina.

The case of Savchenko was returned to the Novousmansky district court to correct violations. "She was not provided with copies of the report and procedural documents in Ukrainian," Petina explained. "So far, we return the case to the district court."

Savchenko was arrested by the Novousmansky district court in Russia's Voronezh Region July 2.

The hearing at the regional court was held on Thursday behind closed doors with no journalists allowed. Savchenko was held in an investigation detention center in the city of Voronezh, with video communication established with the court.

Spokesperson for Russia's Investigative Committee's Vladimir Markin told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday that the committee had brought charges against Ukrainian citizen Nadezhda Savchenko of complicity in the murder of VGRTK reporters Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. She was detained in Russia and taken into custody.

According to Markin, it has been established that Savchenko served in Ukraine’s armed forces and was a gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter. According to the investigators' information, Savchenko joined the Aidar battalion during military actions near Luhansk. After she got to know the whereabouts of the VGTRK crew and other civilians near Luhansk, she informed the fighters. After that, mortar fire was opened precisely on the spot, killing VGTRK reporters Kornelyuk and Voloshin, Markin said.

Without any documents, Savchenko crossed the Russian border as a refugee. She was detained in a residential site to establish her identity, and it was found out that she was a suspect in the criminal case opened over the murder of Russian reporters. Markin added that her detention was carried out strictly in accordance with the law.

Her attorney intended to appeal against holding her in custody, a court spokesperson, Tatyana Fateyeva, told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday. The district court issued a warrant to arrest the suspect and hold her in custody until August 30. The ruling did not come into force in connection with the appeal, Fateyeva said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prosecutor-General's Office to investigate how pilot Savchenko got to Russia's territory. A spokesperson for the information center of the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense, Andrei Lysenko, said this on Wednesday. According to Lysenko, the Ukrainian president ordered the Foreign Ministry to contact Russian colleagues on the matter and the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Justice Ministry to take all possible steps for her soonest release. Poroshenko believes Savchenko was abducted.

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