CEC registers pilot Savchenko as MP
Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC) on Wednesday registered 189 MPs, including Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko who was arrested in Russia, the commission's press service has reported.
Savchenko was registered as No. 1 on the electoral list of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Union. Four more MPs from Batkivschyna were also registered on Wednesday.
While commenting on Savchenko's registration as an MP, her lawyer, Mark Feygin, wrote on Twitter that now he hoped to see her as a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
"I tell the Kremlin: finally release Savchenko… You know that she is innocent," he added.
He also addressed the Russian Investigative Committee: "If all that happened to Savchenko is not enough for you, then I guarantee shame and trial for you. Everyone knows that I don't waste words."
Savchenko's other lawyer, Nikolai Polozov, wrote on Twitter that the pilot's defense team was demanding her immediate release due to her election as an MP.
"The Russian authorities unlawfully hold a Ukrainian parliament deputy – Nadia Savchenko. We are demanding that she be immediately released!" reads the report.
According to Russian investigators, the 31-year-old navigator was fighting with the Aidar volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine when she was captured by illegal armed units in June near the town of Schastia, a suburb of Luhansk. It was said on July 8 that she was being held at the Voronezh pre-trial detention facility in Russia.
The Russian Investigative Committee claimed that Savchenko had crossed the border without documents under the guise of a refugee and was detained later for identification, after which it turned out that she was suspected of playing some role in the killing of Russian TV journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin near Luhansk. On July 9, Russia indicted her for complicity in murder.
Savchenko denies all charges. Ukraine is demanding her release. In October 2014, Savchenko was elected to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine from the Batkivschyna Party.
Batkivschyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko said that granting Savchenko the status of delegate to PACE after she becomes an MP would help free her from prison.
According to Tymoshenko, PACE members get a special diplomatic status and nobody will be able to hold a PACE member in the prison of another country - "this is the level of international institutions, where other international rules are applied."