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.


30th November 2018: fourth hearing in Court

Opening, the defense attorneys of the Ukrainian Government objects the relevance of the bond between the defendant, Markiv, and Ukraine claiming that the Government is not responsible for the actions of their own employees if the emanation of the specific order executed is not proven. The Judge rejects their motion for Court dismissing the summons of Ukraine as civil responsible for the Rocchelli’s murder as included in the Rocchelli’s family summons submitted both in July and September, and already accepted then by the Court.
The hearing session was then entirely dedicated to deposition of the eye witness William Roguelon, survived to the attack besides being seriously injured. William was very clear headed and precise when telling what happened in the afternoon of 24th May 2014, answering precisely to the questions of Pavia’s public prosecutor and the lawyers. During the almost 2 hour report, video and photographic material was shown in support of his declaration. Among other things, William recognized the taxi covered in bullet holes framed in a video, and he underlined how the taxi initially had its bright sign and therefore was impossible to confuse it with a military car.
Moreover, he explained how a civil suit parallel to the Italian penal trial, the French Government recognized William as the first journalist victim of war crime and ratified his right to be refunded. And this case will become a precedent in the French jurisprudence.
It was published the agenda for the following hearing: 14th December 2018; 18th and 25th January 2019; 8th e 22nd February; 15th, 22nd and 29th March; 12th April.