25th January 2019: seventh hearing in the Court

The following professionals were summoned to testify:

  • Lieutenant Benedetto Vinciguerra: major Italian expert of ballistic and curved shot artillery; he teaches at the military academy in Rome, infantry unit. He recognized and explained the functioning and origin of the weapons/devices appearing in the photographic material confiscated to the accused, including the video taken on the Karachun hill – from where the shooting came – in which the accused frame himself. During the hearing, the Lieutenant Vinciguerra was shown the images of the screened by shoots and the testimony recognized that the holes on the car body were caused by mortar splinters and machine guns. The Lieutenant informed about the maximum distance each of the listed arms can get to: each of them would have been capable of covering the distance from the hill to the spot where Andy and Andrej were shot. Finally, the expert explained the need of an observer: who gives the target coordinates to the shooter, positioned with the mortar in a spot not much visible.
  • Chief of Police Napolitano: chief of prison police in Pavia; reported about the accused staying in the Pavia prison; the accused has been moved to the Opera prison for security reasons following proven evidences of an escape plan including attack to police agents.
  • Luca Trabalza: assistant of the Italian embassy in Kiev at the time of the investigations. He testified about the difficulties of setting a verbal contact with the Ukrainian public prosecutor’s office and receiving any type of feedback regarding the investigations carried in Slaviansk.
  • Lieutenant Russo: RIS in Parma; carried the chemical analysis on the materials found on Andy’s backpack, that detected the presence of trinitrotoluene traces and rdx, normally contained in mortar shoots and hollow charges.
  • Ballardini: coroner who carried out the second autopsy on Andy’s body at the San Matteo Hospital in Pavia. He confirmed what roughly reported in the medical report of the autopsy carried out in Ukraine. He also testified of not having ever received from Ukraine the evidences extracted from Andy’s body, the splinters.

18th January 2019: sixth hearing in the Court

The members of the Special Operation Squad who investigated the case, testified. They were all asked to briefly describe their own professional background and their current roles within the Special Operation Squad.
The witnesses reported that the investigation developed in the following steps:

  • data extraction from Andy’s device systems (PC, camera’s memory card, mobile phone);
  • analysis of the anagraphic and online research, as well as the information provided by the questioned journalists, who testified in the hearing of 14th December 2018;
  • wiretapping of the communication channels used by Vitaly Markiv when he was under investigation;
  • data extraction from the accused Vitaly Markiv’s device systems seized when he was arrested: among other things, this step brought to light various photographic proofs showing how Ukrainian militias carried out all sort of violation of human rights torturing war prisoners;
  • defendant’s interrogation;

In the device systems of the accused various files were found, pictures and videos portraying the location where the Ukrainian artillery shot Andy and Andrej, the view on the factory in front of which the attack began and finally selfies taken by the accused.
The exact spot was identified by crossing the GPS coordinates transmitted by the photographer Roguelon to the Gendarmerie Francaise, the satellite images corresponding to those same coordinates and the documents seized from the accused.
The members of the Special Operation Squad provided a detailed and crystal clear description of the investigations and the reasons of the taken decisions.


14th December 2018: fifth hearing in the Court

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.