The next hearing of an appeal against the verdict for Ukrainian National Guard serviceman Vitaliy Markiv, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his alleged involvement in the death of Italian photo reporter Andrea Rocchelli, will take place at the Milan Court of Appeal on October 23, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
The third court hearing in the case, which was held on October 15, lasted about nine hours.
The court heard the findings of an investigation into Markiv's conversation with a cellmate about the death of the Italian photojournalist, which was recorded in July 2017 when Markiv was interrogated in a pretrial detention center. The prosecution tried to include in the case file Markiv's phrase "a journalist was killed" that was interpreted as "I killed a journalist."
In this regard, the court ordered a new examination and a complete translation of the entire conversation, not just one phrase, as requested by the prosecutor.
According to the new translation, Markiv did not say "we killed a reporter," but said: "In 2014, an Italian reporter was killed, and now they want to put the blame on me."
The court accepted the new translation.
Markiv was detained in Italy in the summer of 2017 on charges of his alleged involvement in the deaths of Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter, Russian Andrei Mironov, near Sloviansk, Donetsk region, in May 2014.
On July 12, 2019, the Pavia court sentenced the Ukrainian to 24 years in prison.
A group of journalists decided to conduct their own investigation into the deaths of Rocchelli and Mironov. They produced a documentary called "The Wrong Place." The film was directed by Italian military correspondent Cristiano Tinazzi. In September, part of the was shown in the Italian parliament.