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Ukraine's Savchenko arrested in Russia has no complaints — human rights activist

July 10, 2014, 15:25 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)
On Thursday, the Voronezh regional court upheld the ruling to hold her in custody, rejecting an appeal of Savchenko's defence
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VORONEZH, July 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian citizen Nadezhda Savchenko, who is held in custody in Voronezh on charges of complicity in murder of Russian reporters near Luhansk, felt well and had no complaints about anything. Voronezh-based human rights activist Anatoly Malakhov said this on Thursday in a comment for ITAR-TASS.

Malakhov heads a regional public monitoring commission of human rights organization "Russia without Tortures". He visited Savchenko in jail on Wednesday.

"She is in good physical condition. She has no complaints about the conditions and treatment in jail," he said.

Savchenko, charged with complicity in murder of reporters of 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 an appeal of her defence, court spokesperson Lada Petina told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

The case of Savchenko was returned to the Novousmansky district court to correct violations. "Copies of the report and procedural documents in Ukrainian were not given to her," Petina explained. "For the present, we return the case to the district court."

Savchenko was arrested by the Novousmansky district court in the Voronezh Region on July 2.

The meeting of the regional court was held on Thursday behind closed doors without the press. Savchenko was held in an investigation detention centre in the city of Voronezh, from where video communication was established with the court.


Savchenko accused of involvement into murder of Russian TV reporters

The Russian Investigative Committee's spokesman 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's territory and taken into custody.

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

Without any identifying 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 suspect in the criminal case over the murder of Russian reporters. Markin added that her detention was carried out strictly in accordance with the the law.

Her attorney intended to appeal against holding her in custody, according to a court spokesperson. 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, the representative said.


Poroshenko orders to make efforts to free the Ukrainian pilot

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prosecutor-General's Office to find out the circumstances of how pilot Savchenko got to Russia's territory. 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.

The Ukrainian side wanted to hire a famous Russian lawyer for Savchenko, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin told a briefing on Thursday. "Russia provided an attorney for Savchenko, but we do not trust him. Ukraine intends to hire a well-known Russian lawyer," he said, declining to elaborate on the attorney's name.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stayed in contact with the Russian side and appropriate services, he added. "I had a talk about Nadezhda Savchenko's fate with the Russian Foreign Ministry's head Sergei Lavrov. We will do everything possible and impossible for her release," Klimkin assured.

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