Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko on the night of 23rd to 24th June 2014 in the consequence of joint illegal actions by the terrorists of so-called "Lugansk People's Republic" and special services of the Russian Federation, with force and out of her will with flagrant disregard of international law and Ukrainian legislation was abducted from the territory Ukraine with a bag over a head and delivered to the Voronezh region of the Russian Federation.
Later on June 30th 2014 N.Savchenko was unlawfully arrested on the territory of the Russian Federation under a charge of committing a "crime". In particular, later this day she was taken from the hotel "Euro", where she retained under an armed guard from June 24th 2014, to the Investigative Committee and issued a protocol of detention. On July 2nd 2014 N.Savchenko was delivered to the district court of the city Voronizh - Novousmanskyi which imposed a pre-trial restraint of detention. On July 9th 2014 Russian authorities charged N.Savchenko with unlawful "accusations" with crimes according to Article 33, clause 5, Article 105, clause 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – complicity in murder in discharge of duty, in generally dangerous methods, motivated by a group of people on political grounds. In April 2015 N.Savchenko was charged with illicit border-crossing according to Article 322, clause 5.
From June 24th to June 30th 2014 her detention in the hotel “Euro” wasn’t even mentioned, despite the fact that these days she was kept under guard and at least three times interrogated by the investigator, which was executed in a process-verbal. Mentioned above reports of interrogation from 25 and 27 July 2014 are in disposal of N.Savchenko’s lawyers. Imprisonment of N.Savchenko had an arbitrary form and was not registered properly. Fact of her imprisonment wasn’t informed nor to her family members or Consular Division of the Ukrainian Embassy in the Russian Federation.
By July 16th 2014 N.Savchenko was left without any communication with the outside world, including the possibility to inform relatives of her whereabouts as well as Ukrainian consular officer in Moscow and to contact a lawyer or file a complaint. Appointed at that time state attorney did not file a single appeal against the illegal actions of the Russian authorities for committing gross procedural violations. Ukrainian consul, who was in the city Voronizh from the July 9th 2014 only after numerous attempts on July 16 was admitted to N.Savchenko. During the meeting N.Savchenko informed that she was forcefully and illegally brought to the Russian Federation by the rebel terrorist groups and Russian special services.
On October 26th 2014 during early elections to the Parliament of Ukraine N.Savchenko was elected a deputy of the Political Party “Batkivshchyna”. On November 27th N.Savchenko gained authority of the deputy of Ukraine of the VIII convocation, in December 2014 was elected as a member of Ukrainian delegation to PACE.
On January 26th 2015 PACE affirmed her mandate as a member of PACE, on January 28th 2015 PACE adopted resolution which calls Russian officials to release N.Savchenko during 24 hour period and provide her with safe return to the homeland or transfer to a third state.
N.Savchenko’s parliamentary immunity and privileges granted to her according to the Opinion of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs (Committee) of the Council of Europe were repeatedly brought to the Russian Federation via official diplomatic channels:
- PACE members immunity provided by the Statute of the Council of Europe and the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe has an absolute nature in that it is based on international law and can be interpreted only by the Parliamentary Assembly;
- the immunity of members of the Assembly also extends to any proceedings initiated against them before the beginning of their parliamentary mandate, in connection with acts carried out by the member before the start of his or her term of office in the Assembly, with the effect than any ongoing proceedings are suspended for the duration of the term of office;
- the parliamentary immunity of a member of the Assembly must be waived before his or her freedom can be restricted; the Assembly alone is able to waive the immunity of a member;
- N.Savchenko enjoys “European” parliamentary immunity as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since ratification of the credentials of the Ukrainian delegation on 26 January 2015.
- with effect from the ratification of credentials, Ms Savchenko can no longer be subject to any detention or prosecution measures;
- As of today Russian side did not file a single appeal to the PACE with request to waive her immunity.
- the members of the Parliamentary Assembly enjoy the immunity provided for in Article 15 during the Assembly sessions, and the term “during the sessions” covers the whole parliamentary year in view of the continuous activity of the Assembly and its bodies
- the Assembly infers from a systematic interpretation of Article 15 that if a national authority wishes to prevent a member of the Assembly from travelling to and from the place where the Assembly’s plenary sessions or its committee meetings are held, or from being active in any other way as a member of the Assembly, the competent national authority must ask the Assembly in advance to waive the “European” immunity of the member in question;
Committee’s conclusion was reapetedly presented by N.Savchenko’s attorneys during her case court sessions, however Russian court completely ignored it.
From December 13th until the end of February 2015, due to the rough, illegal actions and restriction measures of her freedom based on trumped up accusations which she did not commit, N.Savchenko held a hunger strike as the only method to struggle for her rights.
The Russian Federation in breach of the international law, it’s own and the Ukrainian legislation, despite the absence of any credible evidence of her guilty of crime, in view of irrefutable evidence of her innocence presented by her attorneys to the court and prosecution and her ironclad alibi continues to illegally detain N.Savchenko in pretrial facilities.
Most indisputable and unquestioning evidence of her innocence presented by her advocates that prove the falsification of her case are the finding of facts counterfeiting by the Russian side attached to the case papers recordings made in Lugansk suburb and available detailed billing calls and other expert evidence which make it clear that N.Savchenko was captured before the death of the two Russian journalists. All mentioned above materials will be re-presented by her defense during next court sessions considering her case.
On July 13th 2015 Prosecutor General’s office of the Russian Federation issued a notice of approval of the indictment in a criminal case against N.Savchenko according to which she is accused of committing crimes stipulated in Article 105, Clause 2 (murder) and Article 30, Clause 3 (attempt to murder) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and decided to transfer the criminal case against N.Savchenko to the Donetsk city court of Rostov oblast of Russia for trial on the merits.
In such way the Russian Federation is hiding her case away from the public eye and international community.
On July 17th 2015 N.Savchenko was transferred by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS) at the disposal of the Main Department of FPS in the Rostov region and July 25th placed in a pretrial facility No.3 of the Rostov region (Novocherkask). Lawyers have free access to their client and have no restrictions on processing and coordinating with client required procedural documents. As well a while ago her sister Vera Savchenko and Ukrainian consuls visited her in place of her detention and stated that her health is stable and she has no complaints regarding the terms and conditions of her imprisonment.
On July 30th 2015 the Donetsk city court of the Rostov region in a closed court session held a preliminary hearing on case with the parties, during which lawyers made a motion regarding the further consideration of case on the merits in Gagarin district court of Moscow. As a result Donetsk city court of the Rostov region decided to refer N.Savchenko criminal case to Rostov Regional Court in order to lay a venue.
August 21st 2015 the Rostov Regional Court did not satisfy the request of the defense and made a decision to leave her case for further sessions in the Donetsk City Court of Rostov region. Next preliminary hearing on the case will be held in Donetsk city court of the Rostov region in the first week of September. Such actions of the Russian side are qualified as intentional delay of the trial and another proof of legal arbitrariness and lawlessness of the Russian Federation.
August 27th 2015 the Moscow City Court held a hearing regarding the motion of N.Savchenko defense concerning the cancellation of the decision from June 10th extending the term of detention of N.Savchenko to September 30th 2015. Russian judicial body once again ignored presented arguments and left complaint of the defense without satisfaction.
September 16th the Moscow City Court refused to consider the motion of the N.Savchenko’s defense regarding the non-recognition by Russian Federation the parliamentary immunity of N.Savchenko as a member of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the refusal to change the precaution in order to ensure her participation in the PACE (decision of Basmanny District Court Moscow from 06.05.2015 p).
On September 15th 2015. Donetsk city court in the Rostov oblast held a preliminary hearing in her case and extended the detention of N.Savchenko to January 16th 2016.
On September 22th 2015 Donetsk city court started to review the merits of the case.
Next hearing on the merits is planned on September 29th 2015.