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A different matter

The judicial authority should never take sides and the geopolitical issues related to the russian-ukrainian conflict must be left out of the court. This is one of the main points stated by the general Attorney Nunzia Ciaravolo in her indictment during the court hearing of October 15th at the appeals process for the murder of Andrea Rocchelli and Andrej Mironov.

During the latest weeks, similarly to what happened during the most intensive phases of the first degree trial, we had to witness all possible kinds of interference of politics in the field of justice. We saw senators showing up at the hearings. We heard of emails and phone calls aimed to influence the jury. There were demonstrations and documentaries. Last but not least, the inappropriate move by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who urged Giuseppe Conte to take action in order to free Vitaly Markiv, already sentenced to 24 years at that time.

We don’t think this is a private affair, the story of a Fenoglio’s Milton of our times, with history in the background. Andy’s murder is a public matter, we know that and we stated that many times. It has to do with human rights, with our right to be informed about facts that happen in the theatres of war. Hence, it has implications on the protection of whoever happens to be unwillingly at war, i.e. civilians. Ukrainian civilians, Donbass’ civilians as well. Therefore, it has political consequences. But this isn’t a political trial. 

Some poisoners of wells are trying to represent this judicial story as a clash between clans. They act in bad faith as they want to free Markiv in order to score a point for the nationalist Ukrainian team. But they’re missing the point, since we are not watching a Ukraine-Russia match here. We are fighting for the rights and the protection of civilians to be reaffirmed everywhere, particularly in those critical situations where it’s so easy for a chain of command to make wrong decisions bringing to heinous crimes, such as the deliberated murder of unarmed journalists. It’s not a private affair. It is a different matter. It’s not about fighting each other. Like enemies. It’s about protecting people. All the people. Like the ones Andy depicted in his images. Donbass’ people. Now that we are shaping together the Europe of the future, please help us defend the primacy of justice over political barricades.

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Appeal / III court hearing – Milan

In the court hearing taking place on october 15th state attorney Nunzia Ciaravolo and all plaintiffs held their speeches.Furthermore, a non-ritual communication was inserted into the bulky dossier of the process: an email sent by Andrey Mironov’s brother and friends, containing their claims to be invited to the process.
The speech held by the state attorney substantially confirmed the reasons stated by the court of justice in Pavia and outlined the whole investigation path:


– William’s witness statement and the sequence of events leading to the double murder;
– the equipment at disposal of the Ukrainian army; how mortars function, shooting range and targeting distance;
– place occupied by Markiv on Karachun hill and his role within the Ukrainian National Guard;
– statements released by the Ukrainian soldiers who came to testify at the 1st grade of process. Hierarchy and organization of the UNG;
– scarce collaboration of the Ukrainian authorities.The speech covered all topics relevant to the case with the support of pictures, videos and geo-location.

To give a better understanding of the contest where Mr Markiv voluntarily served as soldier, state attorney Ciaravolo showed the pictures of tortures, intimidations and violences found in Markiv’s phone and usb stick at the moment of his arrest. She also stressed how “justice shall not take anybody’s side in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and that its geo-political features shall stay outside of the court room”.
In the afternoon, lawyers Ballerini, Tambuscio, Tizzoni and Pisapia spoke, covering extra topics. Lawyer Ballerini firmly stated as the docu-film “The Wrong Place” can’t be taken in consideration as a reliable source for the process.

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Appeal / II court hearing – Milan

The court initially summoned all lawyers and the public prosecutor to inform them of the attested threats and pressures suffered by one of the translators designated in 2018 by the 1st grade public prosecution. The threatened translator will be the aggrieved party in a separate case.

The defendant asked for the complete re-translation of all 1st grade documents provided by the victim of the threats; the request was refused by the court, with the only exception of the text of one wiretapped conversation as asked by public prosecutor Ms Cieravolo.
The new translation job postpones the III and IV session, scheduled on October 15th and 23rd.

The court also puts to the record a rather “non ritual” communication: on the evening preceding the II appeal hearing, the Ukrainian minister of justice sent an email directly to the president of the appeal court, Justice Ichino.