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Ukraine’s pilot Savchenko to remain under arrest in Russia

December 22, 2014, 16:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW December, 22. /TASS
A panel of judges rejected the appeal of her attorneys who insisted on her release, her arrest was prolonged till February 13, 2015
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. A court in Moscow on Monday upheld the ruling to prolong the arrest of former Ukrainian servicewoman Nadezhda Savchenko till February 13, 2015.

Savchenko is being held under arrest in Russia over accusations of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine.

A panel of judges rejected the appeal of her attorneys who insisted on her release.

The Ukrainian citizen is charged with assisting in aiming gunfire at Russian journalists.

Two reporters, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin of the Russian state television and radio company, were killed by mortar fire near Luhansk in July this year.

Savchenko was detained in Russia’s territory and was taken into custody in the Russian city of Voronezh. Later, she was taken for psychiatric examination to Moscow, where she is being held in custody now.

Investigators said Savchenko, during fighting near Luhansk in June this year, when she was a gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the Aidar battalion of Ukrainian forces. She found out whereabouts of a group of Russian journalists and other civilians near Luhansk and reported the information to gunners who used her information to aim mortar fire that killed the reporters.

In the recent elections in Ukraine, Savchenko was elected a member of the Ukrainian parliament.

Russian authorities said the legal proceedings against her would continue irrespective of her new status of a member of the parliament.

The source close to investigative authorities said the election of Savchenko as a deputy did not change her status as a suspect in the case. The Russian law stipulates a special legal status for some persons, but among them are only Russian, but not foreign, parliament members.

Her attorneys said she was a candidate to be included in Ukraine’s delegation for a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and it could be a reason to drop her case.

Moscow insists she will stand trial and it is for a court to decide whether to release her or not, depending on a verdict of guilty of not guilty.

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