Russian court sentences Savchenko to 22 years in prison
The Donetsk City Court of Russia's Rostov region has sentenced Ukrainian pilot, MP and member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Nadia Savchenko to 22 years' imprisonment in a penal colony.
In addition, the Russian court fined up Savchenko to RUB 30,000 for illegally crossing the Russian border.
In particular, the court sentenced Savchenko to 18 years in prison for the murder of the Russian journalists, another 10 years in prison are envisaged for attempted murder. The final term of the punishment after partial addition of the sentences is 22 years' imprisonment. The punishment is considered to have started when she was arrested on June 30, 2014.
Judge Leonid Stepanenko on March 22 rejected the position of the defense that Savchenko had been illegally kidnapped in Ukraine and brought to Russia against her will. The court upheld the state's contention that Savchenko had illegally entered Russia of her own accord, Radio Liberty reported.
At one point, the reading of the verdict in the town of Donetsk in Russia's Rostov Oblast was briefly suspended and the courtroom cleared. Attendees were compelled to go through security checks a second time before the judge continued.
Savchenko, 34, was charged with complicity in the June 2014 deaths of two Russian journalists near Luhansk, Ukraine, as well as with illegally entering Russia.
Russian officials say she directed mortar fire against a checkpoint manned by Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine that resulted in the deaths of the journalists.
Prosecutors asked the court to sentence her to 23 years in prison.
Savchenko denies the charges and said she did not recognize the Russian court or its right to try her.