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Russia FM says amnesty for jailed Ukrainian ex-pilot Savchenko possible

April 22, 2015, 15:11 UTC+3

The jailed ex-pilot can be granted amnesty as part of the Minsk agreements, but the case should come to trial first

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© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been held for months in a Moscow jail on charges of complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists, can be granted amnesty as part of the Minsk agreements, but the case should come to trial first, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"She is being charged with a serious crime, in complicity in actions that resulted in the death of Russian journalists. We should not be indifferent towards the investigation into these crimes," Lavrov said in an interview with three radio stations, Ekho Moskvy, Sputnik and Govorit Moskva.

Savchenko was arrested before she became a member of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and a member of Ukraine’s delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Lavrov said, adding that the parliamentary immunity is only granted when people actually fulfill their duties.

"Speaking on all-for-all prisoner exchange, then she [Savchenko] is not a hostage, she is arrested on suspicion of having committed crimes. Here we can talk about using another part of the Minsk agreements envisaging amnesty for all those linked to events in the south-east," Lavrov said.

"But to grant amnesty to a person, [the case] should be brought to the court and the court should take the decision," Lavrov said. "If the court decides that she is not guilty, then probably, amnesty will apply to her, if I can now interpret the Minsk agreements in this way," he said.

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