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Russian court rejects version of ex-pilot Savchenko being abducted from Ukraine

March 22, 13:26 UTC+3
Nadezhda Savchenko and her defense claim that she did not illegally cross the Russian border, but was abducted from Ukrainian territory and taken to Russia "with a sack over her head"
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Valery Matytsin/TASS

DONETSK (Rostov region), March 22. /TASS/. The Donetsk City Court of Russia’s Rostov region has rejected the version that former Ukrainian military navigator Nadezhda Savchenko was abducted and illegally taken to Russia. The court’s verdict says that she had secretly crossed the Russian border.

Savchenko’s defense lawyers said during the trial previously that the witnesses for the prosecution who gave her a ride were actually the abductors of the Ukrainian military servicewoman. Savchenko and her defense claim that she did not illegally cross the Russian border, but was abducted from Ukrainian territory and taken to Russia "with a sack over her head."

However, the court established her guilt on Tuesday finding that she tried to secretly cross the Russian border in violation of the current law.

Judge Leonid Stepanenko now continues to announce the verdict.

According to the prosecution, Savchenko, an officer of the Ukrainian armed forces on June 17, 2014, was in the area controlled by the paramilitary battalion Aidar near the village of Metallist, the Lugansk Region. She was conducting concealed observation and adjusting artillery fire against a roadblock held by militias of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic and a group of civilians there, including three Russian journalists. The artillery bombardment killed two of them - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.

Savchenko was charged with three counts - murder, attempted murder and illegal border crossing. The prosecutor asked the court to sentence Savchenko to 23 years in a standard security penitentiary and a fine of 100,000 rubles. Savchenko pled not guilty, saying she had never killed unarmed people. The Savchenko trial began on September 22, 2015.

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