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Ukrainian female pilot’s defense says prosecution presents a dummy witness

October 07, 2015, 20:56 UTC+3 DONETSK
Earlier in the day, the court questioned the FSB investigator Aleksey Pochechuyev in a video linkup with the central district court of the Russian southern city of Voronezh
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DONETSK /the Rostov region/, October 7. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian female pilot Nadezhda Savchenko’s defence lawyers believe that one of the prosecution witnesses - an investigator from the Russian Security Service (FSB) - was replaced by a dummy witness in court on Wednesday, Nikolai Polozov, a lawyer of Savchenko, told TASS.

Earlier in the day, the court questioned the FSB investigator Aleksey Pochechuyev in a video linkup with the central district court of the Russian southern city of Voronezh. The investigation says Pochechuyev saw hitch-hiking Savchenko and drove her to the Voronezh branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Polozov says that Pochechuyev appeared in the courtroom wearing a wig and glasses and said he had altered his appearance.

"He was attempting to wiggle out of the trap into which he had stumbled yesterday. We have serious grounds to suppose that he is someone else but not Pochechuyev," the lawyer said. "We will provide proofs later and now we will refrain from comments due to tactical considerations."

During Pochechuyev’s questioning, the defence filed a motion to identify the FSB officer at a closed hearing but the Donetsk court rejected it explaining that Voronezh judges carried out the relevant identification procedure.

Alongside Pochechuyev, the Donetsk city court questioned two militia fighters who were involved in Savchenko’s capture, according to defence.

On September 22, the Donetsk city court opened hearings into Savchenko’s case in essence.

According to investigators, during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on June 17, 2014, Savchenko, who was an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, from the location of the Aidar battalion - a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry - in the vicinity of the village of Metallist secretly adjusted artillery fire on a section of the Lugansk People’s Republic militia's roadblock with civilians, including three Russian journalists.

As a result, VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed.

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