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Arsen Avakov: I met with the Italian lawyer of the NGU fighter Vitaly Markiv, and I saw that the evidence collected by the defense team in Ukraine confirmed the baselessness of the accusation

12th October 2017, 15:25

On October 12, 2017, in the MIA took place a meeting with the Italian lawyer Raffaello Della Valle, who is now defending Vitaly Markiv, a citizen of Ukraine and a serviceman of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU).  Vitaly Markiv was arrested in Italy and charged with the deliberate murder of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli, who died in May 2014 in Slavyansk as a result of mortar fire.

The sides exchanged views on the progress of the investigation and the prospects for the trial.

Arsen Avakov expressed gratitude to the defense team for their efforts. And especially for the current visit of lawyer Della Valle to Ukraine to collect additional information that will be used during the trial as evidence of Mr. Markiv's non-involvement in the tragic event.

In turn, Raffaello Della Valle informed that he visited the scene near Slavyansk.  He recorded the testimonies of reliable witnesses about exactly where the positions of the NGU battalion named after general Kulchitsky were located on Mount Karachun, as well as the place of the death of journalists.

The lawyer collected duly certified testimonies of NGU servicemen, who at that time were positioned together with Mr.Markiv.

"From the very beginning, I was sure that Vitali was not a person to blame for this tragic incident.  Now, returning to Milan, I am even more convinced that we will be able to refute unjustified accusations against my client", - stated the lawyer.

The Italian lawyer expressed confidence that the properly documented evidence collected in Ukraine would be appended to the documentation of the preliminary investigation, which is now coming to an end.  Upon its completion, a trial hearing will be scheduled.  "I am convinced that Vitali will soon be free and will be able to return to Ukraine", - the lawyer said.

The head of the MIA in conversation with Raffaello Della Valle stressed the openness of the Ukrainian side and its readiness to fruitful cooperation with the investigation.

"We will not abandon our soldier!", - stressed Arsen Avakov.


Department of communication of MIA-Ukraine