Interior Minister Avakov briefs Italy's Ambassador on important details in Markiv case
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has briefed Italian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine Davide La Cecilia on important details in the case of Ukrainian guardsman Vitaliy Markiv, who has been convicted in Italy.
Avakov said that investigators of Ukraine's National Police had established "a number of important details that can bring us closer to the truth," the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's press service said.
Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova, who was also present at the meeting with the Ambassador, thanked the Italian side for the possibility of meeting with the convicted. She also stressed that it is important that Markiv's rights are observed under obligations of the states defined by the UN General Assembly's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As UNIAN reported earlier, deputy commander of a platoon of the Ukrainian National Guard's first battalion, senior sergeant Markiv was detained in Italy on June 30, 2017, on suspicion of the murder of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian interpreter Andrei Mironov amid a mortar attack in Donetsk region in May 2014.
According to the Ukrainian investigation, the two were killed in shelling by Russian-led troops. Ukrainian National Guard officials insisted that the battalion was not armed with mortars in 2014.
The jury in the court of Italy's Pavia on July 12, 2019, sentenced the Ukrainian guardsman to 24 years in prison. He is also to pay compensation to Rocchelli's family.
A decision on an appeal against the verdict could be taken next year, according to Markiv's lawyer, Raffaele Della Valle.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prosecutor General's Office to immediately address the issue of Markiv's return to Ukraine.
On November 20, Ukraine filed an appeal against Markiv's verdict. It is to be considered by a Lombardy appellate court in the spring of 2020.