Ukrainian pilot arrested in Russia elected to parliament - report
KIEV, October 27 (RAPSI) – The leader of the Batkivshchyna party, Yulia Tymoshenko, said she hopes that the election to parliament will help ensure the release of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been charged with complicity in the death of Russian journalists in southeastern Ukraine, UNIAN news agency reports on Monday.
Early parliamentary elections were held in Ukraine on October 26. Batkivshchyna won the smallest number of votes, 5.6%, of the seven parties that have won seats in parliament. Savchenko was at the top of the party list alongside Tymoshenko and social activist Igor Lutsenko.
“I believe that Nadezhda Savchenko will receive the mandate of a member of the Ukrainian parliament very soon. This will give her a diplomatic status, which will allow us, in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, to insist on her immediate release,” Tymoshenko said as quoted by UNIAN.
On October 27, the Basmanny District Court in Moscow is scheduled to hear the investigators’ petition to extend Savchenko’s detention. Her lawyer said she would not attend the hearing because she is still undergoing the required tests in a psychiatric hospital in Moscow.
Nadezhda (Nadiya) Savchenko, 33, called in artillery fire via radio. She was seized by anti-Maidan fighters in June but, according to the independence supporters in the Lugansk area, managed to escape. Later she was detained in Russia, which she allegedly entered as a refugee, and was charged with complicity in the murder of Russian journalists during the shelling of separatist positions in the contested Ukrainian region of Lugansk.
Vesti correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed on June 17 in a mortar attack in the vicinity of Metallist and Mirny, small towns near Lugansk in eastern Ukraine. Both journalists were buried in Moscow.
Savchenko denies the allegations and insists she has no relation to the death of the journalists.