Andrea “Andy” Rocchelli è stato ucciso, insieme all’attivista dei diritti umani e interprete Andrei Mironov, il 24 Maggio 2014 nelle vicinanze della città di Sloviansk, in Ucraina, mentre documentava le condizioni dei civili intrappolati nel conflitto del Donbass. In questi mesi, nelle aule del Tribunale di Pavia, è in corso un processo che cerca di fare luce sugli avvenimenti di quel giorno.
The court deemed the investigation fully completed and rejected the defense’s request to visit the site where Andy and Andrey were killed. The indictment phase then commenced ( final statements delivered by the prosecutor, plaintiffs and defense).
The prosecutor brilliantly outlined the studied events, the examined evidences and the workflow of the inquiries. State prosecutor Mr Zanoncelli consciously did not profit from issues and elements that might harm Mr Markiv’s reputation while being not crucial for the purposes of the investigations.
The indictment covered the progress of the inquiries and thus confirmed once more the dynamic of the events ( Ukrainian soldiers deliberately targeted unarmed journalists), location and ballistic (mortar fire was shot from the Karachun Hill where the Ukrainian regular army was settled); composition of Ukrainian National Guard, roles and hierarchy; duties and position of the accused, Mr. Markiv (informer equipped with radio and throat mike, he used to keep under surveillance the spot where Andy was killed, Markiv provided the shooting coordinates to whom handled the mortars); further evidences ( wiretapping results, what Markiv’s chiefs and witnesses testified, Markiv’s own statements).
The state prosecutor hence ordered detention for a minimum time of 24 years, reduced to 16 due to Markiv’s young age and so far good behavior, increased to 17 as a consequence of the harm inflicted to the then photographer, French citizen William Roguelon.
On Friday May 17th five soldiers testified within the defense hearing:
- Myokola Balan: deputy commander of the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014, now head of GNU;
- Konstantin Rekhtyk: deputy commander of staff of GNU;
- Vasyl Kuse: now policeman, in 2014 he was a ranker of GNU on Karachun hill, sharing shift and position with Vitaly Markiv;
- Oleksandr Vendiuk: chief of the 1st “Kucynsky” battalion of GNU where Markiv belonged;
- Igor Sarakman: soldier of GNU;
The witnesses delivered vague and inconsistent answers to the questions asked both by the defense and the accuse; a crucial node concerns the position of the accused on the Karachun hill: the location detected by the state prosecutor during the inquiries has been substantially confirmed. It came clear that Andy’s and Andrey’s murder was a commonly well-known event among the GNU members on the hill; however none of them was ever heard by the Ukrainian authorities during the local investigations.
Furthermore, the witnesses stated that:
- no shift sheet is available as an overview of positions and duties of the GNU soldiers on the hill;
- the GNU soldiers were provided with weapons meant to be used for the sole defense;
- GNU and regular army occupied the hill side by side but never communicated between each other; however the accused is often portrayed with a couple of radio and a throat mike, a rather clear hint of his role of sentinel and informer of those who maneuvered the mortars;
- GNU soldiers couldn’t see anything from their location as the vegetation was rather dense;
During the afternoon the audience was asked to leave the court after the Ukrainian group clapped and cheered the defense (“this court is not a theater” said the President of the Court).
May 24th will be Andy Rocchelli’s kill anniversary.
After 5 years since he was killed, there are still many shadows regarding the dynamics leading to his death.
The court trial to clarify what actually happened has been carrying out in Pavia since July 2018.
As Andy’s friends, we have decided to organize an symbolic walk to strongly express the need of get to the truth.
The event is open to anybody willing to join to the whole itinerary or just to part of it.
We will gather by 7.30 AM in Piazzetta Rocchelli (via Razzini, Pavia) where Andy grew up and we will start the walk from there. We will pass by the San Lanfranco graveyard where his body is resting and we will arrive to the Pavia courthouse.
At 9.30 AM will start the 14th hearing of the trial, that is open for anybody who wants to attend.
Step by step, slowly but surely, we must get closer to the truth.
For any additional information, do not hesitate to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit andyrocchelli.com