Ukraine Live Day 591: Russian Justice Ministry Offers Extradition of Savchenko if Guilt is Admitted

October 1, 2015
Nadiya Savchenko. Photo by Reuters

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Russian Justice Ministry Offers Extradition of Savchenko to Ukraine if Guilt is Admitted

The Russian Ministry of Justice announced today the possibility of extraditing to Ukraine jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko who is currently on trial on charges that she allegedly took part in the murder of two Russian journalists at a separatist checkpoint in Lugansk Region last year.

However, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the media it was “premature” to respond to the prospect of extradition of Savchenko. Typically, the Kremlin leadership goes through the pretense that the Russian justice system is independent although with a case of this prominence, the Kremlin would have given instructions on how it should be handled (translated by The Interpreter):.

Said Peskov:

“We cannot predict how the judicial process will unfold, especially as we cannot interfere in this process.”

Savchenko’s lawyer Mark Feygin reacted to the offer in a series of tweets:

Translation: The RF Justice Ministry has indicated terms: admission by Ukraine (and evidently Savchenko herself) of the sentence of the Russian court and a guarantee that the sentence will be served.
Translation: For clarity: Admission by Ukraine of the sentence from a Russian court may close off opportunities for appealing the ruling in Savchenko’s case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Translation: What should Ukraine do? Agree to this. After getting Savchenko, immediately release her and laugh out loud, giving the Kremlin the finger.
Translation: Don’t underestimate me and my colleagues as lawyers regarding the cabalistic conditions for turning Savchenko over to Ukraine. I know what to do…

Translation: the statement of the RF Justice Ministry testifies to one very important thing: the defense of Savchenko has completely proven Nadezhda’s innocence. That is why they are bustling about.

Feygin noted that a video posted by Open Russia yesterday is not part of the defense’s evidence:

Translation: The video of Nadiya’s capture yesterday put out as a sensation on the Open Russia site is not material evidence from the materials of the case.

Savchenko’s other attorney reiterated the point:

Translation: Videos, documents and materials from the case not authorized by Savchenko’s defense are not authentic. Be careful with fakes from Kremlin connivers.

Translation: Just the attorney’s site is the only full-fledged source of news about the case. Others do not fulfill that function.

Feygin also noted that he is facing threats of removal of his lawyer’s license.

Translation: RBC called and reported that a certain deviant, Anshakov, has submitted a petition to the Moscow chamber of the bar to remove my status.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick