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Ukraine accuses 7 Russian officials of committing offences against Savchenko

July 29, 2015, 17:33 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko is awaiting trial in Russia
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© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

KIEV, July 29. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General's Office has accused seven Russian officials of committing offences against former Ukrainian service member Nadezhda Savchenko, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor-General Yury Stolyarchuk told a press briefing on Wednesday.

"We have grounds to deliver a message to a number of Russian officials about committing a series of offences against Savchenko. Therefore, we inform you that Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General’s Office has requested Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office to provide assistance in bringing charges against seven individuals, the citizens and high-ranking officials of Russia," he said.

According to Stolyarchu, these are staff members of the Russian Investigative Committee and Russian courts who supervised Savchenko’s case.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin threatened criminal proceedings against those involved in Savchenko’s detention. "A decision has been taken to bring charges against all these individuals - both citizens of Russia and Ukraine - for committing an offence against Savchenko. At the moment there are charges, you will see that tomorrow," he told reporters.

Nadezhda Savchenko has been in custody in Russia since July 2014 on charges of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists in Ukraine last year and illegal crossing of the Russian border. Preliminary hearings of her case will be held at court in the town of Donetsk in Russia’s southern Rostov region on July 30.

Russian investigators say that Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the notorious Aidar battalion, a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s interior ministry, during combat operations in the Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine in June 2014. 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 on June 17, 2014.

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