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Arsen Avakov takes part in the court in defense of Serviceman Vitalii Markiv

The regular Court hearing will be held today, May17, in the city of Pavia (Italy).

During the Court hearing, defense witnesses will be questioned: acting commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, Lieutenant-General Mykola Balan and four fellow officers of Vitalii Markiv.

Minister of Interior of Ukraine ArsenAvakov will also be present at the courtroom in order to express his support to our serviceman and provide all the necessary evidence of his innocence.

"I am sure of the innocence of Vitaliy Markiv and that is why I am here today. Despite the fact that in Ukraine the parliamentary coalition ceased to exist and on Monday will be the inauguration of the President of Ukraine. So it matters to us. This is our soldier and we will not leave him. I respect the Italian court, Iam not here to put pressure on the Court, I am here to provide information. Both the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy contribute to this visit, "ArsenAvakov emphasized.

As a reminder that Vitalii Markov was arrested in Italy in the summer of 2017 following an insinuation of involvement in the death of the Italian photojournalist Andrea Rockelli in May24, 2014 during the fighting of the ATO with militants-separatistsunder commandI.Girkin in the city of Sloviansk, Donetsk region.

The defense of the defendant dismisses all charges and insists on the innocence of the Ukrainian serviceman.