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.


The courtroom was totally too small

24th May 2019, 5 years ago Andy was killed.

The news reached each of us, in our homes, via phone and television as rock on our tummy. Weeping, silence, rage, urge of shouting the grief and the injustice. Need of doing something, because it is not possible to stay still, but what to do?

“A torchlight? No, it wouldn’t be his style.”

“A demonstration?”

“I want to understand what is going on in Ukraine”.

“Look the Internazionale newspaper, there are his pictures there”

Then weeping and silence again.

There is that project about Senegalese fables, a lot of material gathered and translated to resume for finalizing what was started with him and stopped. Nobody really knows what will come out of it, but many are the friends willing to help with it.

The trial begins, in Pavia, in an extremely small courtroom of the courthouse in Pavia. But at the first hearing, September 14th 2018, the place looked huge, because we were not enough people, just a few.

That night the official news report as they are true, the fake news regarding what happened that day in the courtroom and outside the courthouse.

Rage again. That stone on our stomach is still there, but this time we know very well what we must do for removing it. We must be there, and we must be many. At least as many as Andy’s friends, whoever misses him, whoever appreciates his work, whoever followed the stories he was telling through his pictures, whoever believes that participation is the civic sense and that is a must to provide everybody his own contribution if the world we live in is a place about often complaining.

That by the was is what Andy used to do: being there.

5 years passed from that day and 8 months from the beginning of the trial. And we were 300 people walking towards the courthouse. A small breakfast together in front of his parents house, where Andy grew up, a visit to the cemetery, walking pass what was Andy’s scouting group headquarter and then there we were, queueing for entering in that courtroom, too small for us to fit all.

We were all there for you. Surrounded by the colours of the Jersey painted in your memory by the students of the Volta institute, youngster that you managed to involve and fascinating with the power of your work.

Accompanied by the red poppies colouring the fields around your house and filled with the enthusiasm of whom believed that day, in that courtroom, we should have been all asking aloud Truth in your name.

Next hearings:

June 14th and 21st, July 5th and 12th. This will be the hearing when the verdict will be declared by the court and it will take place in the Annunciata room in Petrarca Square, Pavia


This is not a private matter

The number of wars among sovereign states and the number of killed in war has luckily decreased since the Second World War. Nevertheless, the number of civil wars has increased. Those are unconventional wars, mostly terrible for disarmed people. Along with them, also the number of journalists killed has increased as the CPJ, Committee to Protect

That’s absolutely not accidental. In the XXI century, when international institutions are highly regulated by a well informed and connected public opinion, it is much more difficult rather than in the past that a government get involved in something so unpopular as a regular war. Instead, small hotbeds burst. They are kind of gangs that are much more complex to monitor and keep under control. Reporters like Andy Rocchelli sometimes pay for that. And they are our witnesses on the field and for such reason they represent our only hope to change the direction of history.

The court trial that is happening in Pavia for the killing of Andy is precisely related to this. We told that many times already and we do not give up repeating it. Because the painful loss

of a friend and a fellow citizen has also given a unique and historical opportunity. This court trail, made possible by the valuable work done by the ROS and the Pavia public prosecutor’s office, can represent an example and a warning on an international level. No matter how much wicked and dirty the next war would be, journalists must remain untouched: they are there on our behalf.

There are only 4 hearings left and the next few Fridays will be crucial: prosecution’s charge, indictments from both the civil parts and the defence, till the verdict on July, 12th. For such reason, it is important that the citizenry participates, showing up in the court, on our side. It is important that our affinity to the institutions is felt. It is important that is made clear that Andy’s death is something that regards our community, our common right and our future.

We do not give up repeating this: this is not a private matter.

We wait for you at the Pavia Court, the next hearing will take place on the 14th June.