Preliminary hearing of Savchenko’s case scheduled for July 30
A preliminary hearing of the case of Ukrainian captive pilot, Member of Ukraine's Parliament Nadia Savchenko, who is charged with complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists in Donbas last year and illegal crossing of the Russian border, has been scheduled for July 30 and will be held at the Russian-based Donetsk city court in Rostov region, according to Russian news agency TASS.
"A preliminary hearing will take place at 11:00 Moscow time (09:00 GMT) on July 30. The court session will be held behind closed doors, in line with Russian laws," the press service of the Donetsk city court told TASS on Tuesday.
Savchenko's case was submitted to the court in Rostov region's city of Donetsk on July 16. Savchenko previously requested the Russian Prosecutor General's Office to change the jurisdiction of her criminal case consideration and transfer the court proceedings to Moscow.
She motivated her request saying that due to the situation in the [neighboring Rostov region] Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, holding the court proceedings at the Donetsk city court might create a serious threat to the life and health of her lawyers, sister Vera who, as the key witness for the defense, is subject to summons to court, her mother who is going to attend the trial.
Her lawyers told TASS earlier that their client had asked her case to be considered by a jury.
If found guilty, Savchenko faces up to 25 years in prison.
UNIAN's memo. Savchenko was abducted by Russian-backed militants in Donbas last summer, and then taken to Russia, where she was charged with being involved in the death of Russian journalists. However, the defense claims she couldn't have been involved in the death as she had been captured before the journalists were killed.
On December 15, Savchenko went on hunger strike; late in April 2015, she started taking certain types of food.
On April 24, the Russian Investigative Committee brought final charges against Savchenko. In addition to the charges of being involved in the murder of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine last June, Savchenko was accused of illegally crossing the Russian border.
On May 5, the Investigative Committee extended the period of probing in the Savchenko case until November 13, 2015.
On May 6, Moscow's Basmanny court extended the pilot's detention until June 30, 2015.
On June 10, Moscow's City Court prolonged Savchenko's arrest until September 30, 2015, at the Investigative Committee's request.