8th February 2019: hearing in the Court

Two Senators of the Ukrainian Government were summoned to testify. After Vitaly Markiv was arrested in August 2017, both of them voluntarily presented themselves to the public prosecutor’s office of Pavia as the maximum experts of the event. Their deposition had been received and recorded by the Special Operation Squad in Milan: the two senators had given two contrasting versions of the events.
During the hearing, their versions has been analyzed again in front of the Court.
Both conversations have been extremely disagreeable due to the sense of reticence, weakening of the truth and significant will of not telling the truth to the Court, from the witnesses. Moreover there were many difficulties with the translation.

Bogdan Matkivskyi
In May 2014 he was on the Karachun hill from which the attack killing Andy and Andrej came. He was the head of the platoon 2 in Slaviansk, not the Markiv’s same one);

  1. Reticent towards the presence of written documents attesting Markiv’s presence in the site (documented by the selfie video found among the sequestered material): he also mentions some tables with orders, shifts and position of each soldier;
  2. Confirms that each soldier wouldn’t move from the assigned position;
  3. Underlines the difference among the role of the Ukrainian National Guard and the role of the Army: the first one is a reserve military unit subject to the Government, that was disbanded in 2000 and then funded again in March 2014. The controversial Azov e Donbass battalion are a part of the GNU and they are mostly made by Ukrainian, European and even Italian volunteers. The accused was part of the GNU. The Army is the legitimate army, subject to the Ministry of Defense and lead by the general Zabrowski.
  4. The senator also confirms that the Army used to have mortars as part of their equipment.
  5. The witness and the jury are shown a sketch made by the witness himself representing the peak of the Karachun hill and the positions of the military equipment and the accused. The sketch is confirmed and compared with the video selfie mentioned above, as well as with the different declarations granted during the conversations taken place in August.
  6. Recognizes almost all the names of the soldiers listed by the public prosecutor Zanoncelli.
  7. Even though he was on that hill on the 24th May 2014, the senator asserts that he only got to know around mid June or even July about the killing of Andy and Andrej.

Andrii Antonyschak
He is currently a senator in Ukraine and was one of the Heads of the National Guard. During the hearing he was wearing the singular uniform full of pendants. Following below are his declarations:

  1. He got to know about the events at least one month after the attack. He had never been on the Karachun hill before mid-June.
  2. No written orders for attained.
  3. Reticent regarding the National Guard territorial jurisdiction;
  4. The National Guard did not have mortars as part of their equipment;
  5. Markiv’s position: he could have seen the area of the attack if he had turned his head of just a few degrees. But the senator specify that it was not the soldiers’ task to turn…
  6. Recognizes some names of the other soldiers listed by the public prosecutor.

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.