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ROSTOV-ON-DON, July 23 /TASS/. The defense lawyers of former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko said on Thursday they would be happy if Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova could tell them something about Savchenko’s whereabouts.
"If her position of a human rights ombudsman will make it possible for her to get a quick reply in full compliance with the law and if it is not for public knowledge, it will be useful if she shares this information with us," Mark Feigin, one of Savchenko’s lawyers, told TASS on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Pamfilova sent official inquiries to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office and the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) with a request to provide immediate information about Nadezhda Savchenko’s location.
Feigin believes this information will become known on July 27. "It is easier to say where she is and end this game," the lawyer added. He explained that the Federal Penitentiary Service had her right to keep the information secret for 10 days since the moment when a person is escorted to a new place. "It is done for security considerations. But they are supposed to inform relatives about the person’s whereabouts upon the expiration of these ten days. The term (for Savchenko) expires on July 27. I assume that they are waiting for the 10 days to pass. I expect them to officially announce where Savchenko is on July 27," Feigin explained.
According to Feigin, he has not known where Savchenko is since July 22. He believes that she is likely to be kept in a pre-trial detention ward in the town of Shakhty in Rostov region.
Meanwhile, Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has officially notified Savchenko’s defense lawyers that her case has been transferred to the Donetsk city court in Russia’s southern Rostov region.
"Today, we have received an official notification from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office which says that the materials of Savchenko’s criminal case have been handed over for consideration to the Donetsk city court /in Russia’s Rostov region/," Mark Feigin told TASS on Thursday.
Feigin said the defense lawyers had not received a reply from the Prosecutor General’s Office on changing the court jurisdiction and transferring the case to Moscow.
Savchenko is accused of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists in Ukraine's eastern Luhansk Region last summer, as well as illegal crossing of the border with Russia. If found guilty, she may face up to 25 years in prison. The former pilot does not admit her guilt.
Preliminary hearings on Savchenko’s case will take place in Rostov region’s Donetsk court on July 30.
According to investigators, during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 17, 2014, Savchenko secretly adjusted fire on a militia roadblock in the vicinity of Metallist village in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (DPR). As a result civilians and two Russian journalists (from VGTRK) — Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin — were killed.