12th July 2019

On Friday, July 12th 2019, came to an end the first phase of the trial concerning the murder of Andrea Rocchelli and Andrey Mironov and the wounds inflicted to William Roguelon.

The head of court, judge Annamaria Gatto, sentenced Vitaly Markiv guilty for his contribution to the double murder and condemned the Ukrainian state as civil authority responsible of what happened. The court requested a 24-years-long imprisonment and the permanent indiction from public offices for soldier Vitaly Markiv (7 years longer than what demanded by state prosecutor Andrea Zanoncelli).

Moreover the indicted and the Ukrainian state are due to refund the legal expenses and a reimbursement to Rocchelli’s family, Cesura and the Federation of Italian Press (FNSI).

This verdict, severe and clear, poses an end to a complex and lengthy judicial path, hindered by the non-collaborative and murky attitude of the Ukrainian authorities. Nevertheless, this conclusion confirms the thesis stated by the district attorney’s office in Pavia and by the special operation corps (ROS) in Milan, and sheds light on the thorough investigations they made. This will be an important legal precedent for the protection of the international press freedom: whatever violence perpetrated on journalists and photographers won’t be left unpunished.

Furthermore, the verdict allows the transmission of the whole set of documents of the trial to Rome, as to leave way to a new proceeding charging senator Bogdan Matkiwsky, commander of GNU and Markiv’s direct chief in 2014 on Karachun hill.

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