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Detained pilot-turned-MP protests jail guard's Ukraine language insult

February 11, 2015, 15:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Jailed Ukrainian former pilot Nadezhda Savchenko has been on a hunger strike for over 60 days
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. A former Ukrainian pilot accused of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists in war-torn east Ukraine has complained of being insulted by a prison guard for speaking her native language at a Moscow court.

Defense representatives have filed protest to the Prosecutor General’s Office about alleged "illegal actions" of the guard against servicewoman-turned-MP Nadezhda Savchenko, lawyer Nikolay Polozov said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when Moscow’s Basmanny Court extended Savchenko’s custody until May 13, Polozov recounting in a blog that as Savchenko awaited a decision in a detainee holding room, the chief guard told her not to speak to him in her "wooden words," protesting over use of her native Ukrainian language.

In the courtroom, however - and provided with an appointed interpreter - Savchenko addressed surprised journalists in Russian, saying she had had six months to learn the Russian language though she had never used it before. Understanding Russian speech did not extend to conversing in it, she had revealed earlier.

Savchenko is suspected of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists near Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, in July 2014, and of illegally crossing the Russian border. Defense lawyers said the court’s ruling on extending her detention was illegal and that they would appeal.

Nadezhda Savchenko has been on a hunger strike for over 60 days. At the courtroom she said she had no plans of stopping the strike. "I will continue the hunger strike, which has been lasting for more than 60 days, until I’m taken back to Ukraine or until I die, " she said.

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