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Ukrainian female pilot Savchenko to seek jury trial — lawyer

April 24, 2015, 18:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier on Thursday that final charges had been brought against Savchenko
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Nadezhda Savchenko (center)

Nadezhda Savchenko (center)

© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko accused of aiding the killing of two Russian journalists in east Ukraine last year, will request a jury trial, her lawyer said on Friday.

"We will definitely request a jury trial," Mark Feigin told TASS.

"She has not admitted guilt and considers the accusations absurd," he added.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said earlier on Thursday that final charges had been brought against Savchenko.

In the near future all criminal case files against Savchenko will be converted into a separate case for completing the investigation, allowing the parties involved to read the files and eventually handle them over to a court of law, he said.

The charges have been filed in connection with the following crimes: complicity in the killing of two or more persons, complicity in the attempted murder of two or more persons by means of dangerous felonies, upon the motives of political hatred and committed by a group of persons, and illegal crossing into Russia’s border.

"The investigation has irrefutable evidence like Savchenko's handwritten notes confirming her involvement in the adjustment of fire, data from ballistic expertise of shards from the bodies of the dead, and photo and video materials from the place of the journalists' deaths including directly from the artillery shelling and also data received from satellites," Markin said.

All this evidence has been provided by the investigation for conducting a situational forensic examination. This is only a part of proof which will be presented to the court together with other evidence, Markin said.

Russian investigators say that Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the notorious Aidar battalion during combat operations in the much-troubled Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine last June.

Noting the position of a filming crew of the Russian State Broadcasting Company and other civilians, she allegedly reported the data to mortar-equipped personnel who fired on the crew and the civilians. As a result, correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed.

Posing as a refugee, Savchenko later crossed the Russian border and was detained during a document inspection. Savchenko has been in custody in Russia since July 2014.

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