On Friday 15th March the accused Vitaly Markiv was heard: based on the Italian law, the accused can take advantage of the right to not answer and it is not compelled to tell the truth and in fact there is not binding oath.
Questions from the Pavia Prosecutor:
the accused is requested to identify and possibly recognize certain Ukrainian soldiers in the pictures confiscated to the accused himself when he was arrested. The accused refrained to answer to most of the queries and sometimes affirmed he didn’t recognize any of the faces and names known to the Prosecutor of Pavia, even though those people were on the Karachun hill during the same days Markiv was there too;
The accused essentially confirmed his role on the Karachun hill from where the mortar shots came: he was meant to refer to the mortar operator the coordinates of the targets and inform about possible movements within the view area assigned to him;
the accused avoided to answer regarding the discrepancies among what he referred during the interrogations after the arrest (2017) and what he referred in the Court;
M. asserted that the mortars arrived only at the end of May on the hill where he was;
the accused was vague regarding the origin of the orders he executed, the existence of a written and reachable document with the shifts and the tasks of the soldiers that were on the Karachun;
among the confiscated pictures found in the devices owned by the accused there were also various images of tortured men; describing one of them Markiv reported that was a fellow soldier who partied to much the night before.
The civil parts underlined the violation of human rights documented in the pictures confiscated and the inconsistencies among the versions giveni (position, timing, role, weapons)
Here is the link to a tv report from TgR delle 19:30 di Venerdì: minute 14:01.
- The witnesses chosen by the defense (Sloviansk’s taxi driver and the accused’s comrades in arms) didn’t show up, but unexpectedly the director of the GNU’s law department testified; the aim of her testimony was to report about a document that the power of attorney of Pavia got in possession of a few days after the arrest of Vitaly Markiv. In that document, signed and countersigned by the GNU, 8 Ukrainian soldiers were ordered to report to the Italian power of attorney a unique version of the events, in support of Markiv.
The witness denied the veracity of such a document bringing contradictory justifications (faded seal, not regulatory seal, document not included in the register that anyway she didn’t show any copy of).
Moreover, the witness declared to be in service from 2016 and to not have a clue about the names mentioned in the document, even if she is the director of the GNU legal department.
The deposition was long and lacking of content. Globally, the impression was that the witness didn’t have any intention to collaborate, nor she knew much about the case, but she sounded as if she was instructed herself as well on what to say in the Court.
- Many witness soldiers didn’t show up in the Court and refuse to attend the next hearings. Some of them are even untraceable. The following motivations are advanced: the fear to be arrested by the Pavia power of attorney (inconsistent reason, since this would violate the international penal code; by the way the Pavia power of attorney even took care of making sure that the 2 Ukrainian military generals who testified during the previous hearing would not lose their flight…) and the fear of being attacked by the the super scary Andy’s friends attending the trial and even hand out some leaflets!
The Court President didn’t grant the new rogatory requested by the defense, but she guaranteed a body guard service for the Ukrainian witnesses.
The next hearing planned for the 29th March has been cancelled waiting for the witnesses of the defense to decide and testify in the Court. Next hearings planned are: 12nd April (possibly with the Ukrainian comrades in arm), 17th May, 14th and 21st June.