Italian court sentences national guard Markiv to 24 years in prison
An Italian court has sentenced the soldier of the National Guard of Ukraine, Vitaliy Markiv, to 24 years in prison, convicting him of assisting in the deliberate murder of Italian photo correspondent Andrea Rocchelli in 2014.
A source in law enforcement agencies told Interfax-Ukraine the court sentenced Markiv to 24 years in prison, although the prosecution requested 17 years in prison.
As reported, Ukrainian soldier Markiv with dual citizenship of Ukraine and Italy was detained in Italy on June 30, 2017 on suspicion of the murder of Italian photojournalist Rocchelli near the town of Sloviansk, Donetsk region, in May 2014.
Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevhen Yenin said at the end of February 2018 that Ukraine had no objections to the investigation into Markiv's case but expected Italy to be unbiased and to agree to set up a joint investigative team.
The prosecutor's office of Pavia asked for sentencing Markiv to 17 years in prison for complicity in Rocchelli's premeditated murder.
The prosecution argued that Markiv, a senior sergeant of the Ukrainian National Guard, did not commit the killing himself but informed the National Guard command of civilians moving near the Zeus Ceramica factory, who, in turn, contacted the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and the latter opened mortar fire upon a group of foreign journalists.
The first hearing of the case took place on July 6, 2018, at which a civilian lawsuit by the Italian National Press Federation against Ukraine was attached to the case.