Savchenko sentenced to 22 years in prison


Russian court has  found Nadiya Savchenko guilty, and sentenced her to 22 years in prison. This decision was made by 3 judges of the Donetsk city court, headed by the chairman Leonid Stepanenko. In addition to that , Savchenko will have to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles (approx. $450 – RRT) for the illegal crossing of the Russian border.

The court concluded that Savchenko’s guilt was confirmed by numerous indications and results of examinations. The court disagreed with defense’s arguments. A correspondent of BBC Russian Service in the courtroom reported that her alibi was declared insolvent. In addition, the court called the testimony of witnesses and experts, who spoke in favor of the Ukrainian officer, contradictory, as well as the evidence presented by the defense.

Announcement of the verdict took 2 days. On Tuesday, Savchenko continued to argue with police officers, and laugh at some of the phrases from the sentence. Only once, when the judge said her testimony was contradictory, the defendant began to resent seriously. Lawyers rarely discussed the words of the judge with their client, but most of the time the defenders spent by studying their mobile phones. The judge was unable to specify the length of the imprisonment from the first try, as Savchenko started singing at that moment, drowning out the voice of the judge. He had to call for a break to resume the reading of the verdict.

Journalists had problems with reporting from the court. Some members of the press have complained that they could not get into the courtroom, since police and court authorities arranged redundant checks, and let Savchenko’s opponents in the building first.

The prosecution asked for 23 years in penal colony for the Ukrainian servicemen.

According to investigators, Savchenko was involved in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the Luhansk region of Ukraine in 2014. Investigators say she corrected the direction of the shelling that killed Russians. In addition, she was accused of illegally crossing the Russian border.

Savchenko denies her guilt. During the trial, her defense argued she was taken prisoner before Russians were killed. On Monday, the defendant’s lawyer said that she will not appeal the verdict. At the same time, they expressed confidence that the decision of the court will be accusatory.

Source: BBC