5 witnesses took the stand, 5 Italian journalists who were in Donbass on the 24th May 2014. As a preliminary question, each of them were asked to go through their own professional experience: as a result, it was obvious that the freelance reporters questioned are professionals who used to work in war zones and are not unexpert youngsters at all.
- Francesca Volpi (photojournalist): after having a few ties in Kiev during the Maidan uprising, Volpi spent a few weeks among Crimea and Donbass she was also in Donetsk on the 24th May 2014. She met the accused on the 2nd of May 2014 and their conversation is reported in a unauthorized video (online open source), that was showed in the Court. Back then she also discovered that during a phone call with the journalist Marcello Fauci the accused stated that he had the order to shoot anything moving.
- Andrea Carrubba (photojournalist): stayed at the same hostel where Andy, Andrej and William Roguelon slept. They had the chance to meet there and exchange information about places around Sloviansk. Carrubba reported to have identified Andy’s and Andrej’s bodies at the morgue and to have recovered Andy’s PC and other few personal belongings from the hostel room.
- Marcello Fauci (photographer): he had met the accused in Kiev during the Revolution in Maidan. They communicated extensively till May 2014, when Fauci was in Donbass. The day that Andy was killed, Fauci spoke to Vitaly Markiv over the phone, getting insights on the situation: the accused recommended leaving because the area was dangerous for journalists and they, Ukrainian National Guard, were ordered to shoot at anything moving.
- Ilaria Morani (journalist): she was working with Fauci in Donbass. On the 24th May 2014, she assisted the previously mentioned phone call, in Italian and via loudspeakers, and got it published on the Corriere della Sera. This article can be accessed following this link. Morani confirmed that the accused implied had a leading role in the stationing above the Karachun hill from which the Ukrainian heavy artillery was firing.
- Michela Iaccarino (photographer): together with Carrubba she was involved in the identification of the corpses and the custody of Andy’s and Andrej’s belongings. Her Russian knowledge allowed her to get immediate information during the search for the bodies.
The defense notified the witnesses’ reliability in certain details detecting light discrepancies from the depositions granted in November 2016: words chosen, use of synonymous and other context details.