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After the appeal sentence: the official position of the Scapigliate Volpi

A week went by since the acquittal of Vitaly Markiv, ordered by the Milan court of justice at the end of the appeal process meant to attest the responsibility of Andrea Rocchelli’s and Andrej Mironov’s deaths. As Volpi Scapigliate we feel the urge to state firmly our position and our future goals for the common good.

We strove and we’ll always strive for truth and justice for Andy and for his family, well aware that this story belongs to the sadly big bulk of violated human rights, endangered press freedom and denied access to news and information. We’re in the wider frame of those civil conflicts, chronically deregulated and violent, that mark the threshold between XX and XXI century.

Taking someone’s side is not our aim. Nor taking revenge on someone else. Since we got together as a group, we put our efforts in defending the public institutions and we’ll keep doing so.

We deem that the dynamics of events reconstructed by the state prosecutor in Pavia is solid, well structured and indeed trust-worthy: it was confirmed by the 1st grade trial, which we attended in person. This report is a big step forward, towards truth and justice, and nobody can take that away from us. Nevertheless, we know too well that without a smoking gun the 2nd grade jury might have decided that the evidence brought by the state prosecutor was not enough to confirm the verdict of guilty issued by the 1st grade court. For this reason we’ll wait for the reasons of the jury to be published, within the next 90 days. That’ll make a huge difference: perhaps lack of evidence? Or not the faintest idea of who murdered Andy and Andrej?

And then comes justice. We know for sure that the Ukrainian army targeted Andy and Andrey with mortar fire for about forty minutes, till the physical annihilation of the two journalists. That’s about it. This has severe implications within the international law frame. We believe that in case the EU would take a stance on what happened, we’d see an improvement in the lives of those journalists and civilians trapped in dirty wars. 

Therefore we’ll keep pushing, no matter what. The full motivations issued by the 2nd grade jury might define our short term moves but not our strategy. We’ll aim to attest the dynamics of the facts and deepen our knowledge of what happened. We’ll do what we’re capable of in order to put this case under the spotlights. We won’t give up the fight for the right to information and keep foster protection for journalists and reporters, especially in those conflictual places were the states’ legal framework fades away.

One last thought on what happened throughout this trial. Threatening phone calls, intrusive emails directly addressed to the court, Ukrainian senators showing up in the court-room. Attempts to persuade the Italian Prime Minister, military mottos shouted in court and Ukrainian Prime Minister Zelensky’s tweets thanking the “Italian team” for Markiv’s acquittal. We’d like to make clear that we do not accept such filth. We do not play in this “team”. We’re different and we’ll keep insisting, trusting the Italian institution and fiercely aiming to a better world.

And if that wasn’t clear yet: we’re more determined than ever.

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