Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova has supported a Verkhovna Rada resolution in connection with the criminal prosecution of a senior sergeant of Ukraine's National Guard, Vitaliy Markiv, in Italy and called for a joint fight for the fate of a participant in the Revolution of Dignity and a fighter in eastern Ukraine.
She wrote this on her Facebook page.
"To appeal to the president of the Italian Republic and the parliament of this country is the right decision, since the fundamental principle of criminal proceedings was violated in Vitaliy Markiv's case - the presumption of innocence, without which any guarantees of a fair trial would be destroyed. I can confirm that during a personal meeting with Vitaliy in Milan's Opera Prison, he informed me that the trial over him, in fact, took place in a deeply anti-Ukrainian atmosphere," Denisova said.
She recalled that the case was based on the testimony of a single witness, a French journalist, with investigators carrying out no examinations.
"In the official documents in the case, the Italian side says Vitaliy Markiv was a member of paramilitary entities, but, in fact, the Ukrainian was a serviceman of the National Guard of Ukraine. I remind you that by the indictment in Vitaliy Markiv's case, the National Guard of Ukraine will be recognized as a temporary formation whose actions were illegal, which the Russian Federation will continue to use," Denisova said.
She noted that the case of the Ukrainian citizen is of political importance and called for a joint fight for his fate.
On January 17, Ukrainian MPs passed resolution No. 2717 "On the statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in connection with the criminal prosecution of a senior sergeant of the National Guard of Ukraine, Vitaliy Markiv, in the Italian Republic, which notes that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considers a ruling by the court of Pavia (Lombardy region, Italy) of July 12, 2019 against Ukrainian citizen Vitaliy Markiv as the one that harms the sovereign rights of the state of Ukraine. The document also "appeals to the president of the Italian Republic, jointly with the parliament of the republic, with the request to ensure the transparency, objectivity and impartiality of appeal proceedings against Vitaliy Markiv within the limits of their powers."
On July 12, 2019, a court in Pavia, Italy, sentenced Markiv to 24 years in prison on charges of involvement in the 2014 death of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli.
Markiv's defense team called the verdict political and declared the intention to file an appeal. Later, lawyers said the court of appeal could issue a judgment in the spring of 2020.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry also said it would help appeal the ruling in the Markiv case in the court of appeal.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Foreign Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office to make every effort to return Markiv to Ukraine.