A new year

September 27th, Andy’s birthday. He would have been 36 and we like stop and remember him by thinking what we did so far and what is in plan for Autumn 2019.

First of all, the trial. It ended with the 24 years conviction of Vitaly Markiv and the Ukraine government recognized responsible too. The verdict added 7 years more than what the Public Persecutor had requested and that created quite an uproar. Since, as we said many times already, this is not a private matter, but it is related to the right of being informed, we find very interesting the reasons of the verdict, that are expected to go public soon and that we hope are going to be even more relevant of the verdict itself. We commit therefore to report them in this blog as soon as they will be public. 

In the last few months we committed ourselves in spreading among the people the awareness of the trial aiming to identify the responsibility for Andy’s killing. We tried to do that by organizing public meetings and events, that brought people that possibly till then were not even aware of what had happened, or had only heard superficially about it. Through the project “From barriers to bridges”, in collaboration with the Pavia Art School A. Volta, youngsters got to know about Andy’s work that has been brought to the Pavia center, through the jersey’s drawn by the students of the school. Now we are organizing together with the Art School a guided tour together with the authors of the graffiti: they will explain their work, the meaning they wanted to deliver via the images that they created and the relation of them with Andy’s work.

Another project we have in plan is the publishing of a book collecting the fables from the Senegalese tradition that were recorded, translated and collected many years ago in the village of Dabia by Andy and other friends that have been there many times during the years: the trips to Senegal as a youngster and especially the experiences in the small village of Dabia, had been key in Andy’s vocation for photography. The publishing of the material collected in Dabia would be the late realization of an old project in which Andy was involved and was particularly fond of.

These are just a few of the projects that we have in mind, and we are open to receive and take into consideration ideas, suggestions and proposals.

Finally, the most important thing: the Volpi Scapigliate are now an official no profit association… we will share soon information on how to join it, for whoever is interested to support the association.

For us, this is the beginning of a new year, taking on the projects and the values that urged us to create an association: protect and promote the press and information freedom as well as promote  Andy’s work. 


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.


14th and 21st June: hearing in the Court

June 14th

The conclusive speeches of the accuse were delivered by the lawyers of Andy’s family, Press Federation and Cesura.

These joined the request pronounced by state prosecutor Andrea Zanoncell concerning Markiv’s detention and outlined the reasons that proved him guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. The lawyers mostly quoted the declarations given by the defense’s witnesses throughout the court hearings and confirmed the conclusions drawn by the power of attorney.

Family’s lawyer Alessandra Ballerini depicted the political context of Slaviansk and described Andy’s method as professional photoreporter.

The charges against the Ukrainian state as civil responsible of the double murder are necessarily tied to a request of refund; the amount due has been calculated according to the international law, and consists of: € 1.000.000,00 for Andy’s parents and sister, € 800.000, 00 for his partner and kid, € 15.000, 00 for Cesura.

June 21st

Conclusive speeches delivered by defense’s lawyers:

Lawyer Bertolini, representing the Ukrainian state: he declared unreliable the recount of what happened on May 24th 2014 reported by the witness William Roguelon. The lawyer therefore stated that a clear dynamic of the events cannot be reconstructed, although the origin of the mortar fire shot from the Ukrainian side has been proved long time ago. Lawyer Bertolini also claimed the Ukraininan inquiries are solid proofs (90% of the interviewed witnesses wasn’t aware of the murder or was somewhere else on May 24th) .

Lawyer Della Valle, representing the indicted soldier Markiv: the lawyer delivered a colorful 7 hours long speech that could be sum up as follows:

  • William Roguelon’s version is not valid;

  • all digital proofs are not reliable, including the selfie videos and pictures showing Markiv on Karachun hill, where the attack came from. Also all geo-referentiated data are not valid, i.e. Google maps excerpts, gps coordinated etc. (“stop with these computers!”)

  • unclear overlapping of two identities: the taxi driver and the so-called 5th man were mistakenly mentioned as the same person;

  • Markiv didn’t use guns nor mortars (he isn’t accused of shooting but rather of contributing to Andy’s death by informing the soldiers who manouvred the mortars via radio and throat mike).

Among the frequent quotations, Mr Della Valle mentioned Hobbes, Patti Pravo, Richard Gere and Totò.