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Former Ukrainian soldier sentenced to 24 years in Italian prison

The verdict will be challenged, the Ukrainian interior minister said.

Former Ukrainian soldier sentenced to 24 years in Italian prison
Vitaliy Markiv
Photo: Radio Liberty

A court in Pavia, Italy has sentenced a former soldier of Ukraine's National Guard, Vitaliy Markiv, to 24 hours in prison, according to Hromadske.

He was found guilty of involvement in the murder of Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli in Donbas in 2014.

The decision was announced by the court without reasoning.

Markiv was also ordered to pay compensation to the family of the deceased photographer.

After the verdict was announced, Markiv's lawyer fell ill and an ambulance was called in. Markiv exclaimed "Glory to Ukraine" after the last word of the judge, some in the chamber responded with a traditional "Glory to the heroes". Also, someone from the chamber shouted "We love you", a Hromadske correspondent reported.

It should be noted that Italian prosecutor Andrea Zanoncelli requested that Markiv be sentenced to 17 years in prison.

In his final remark, Markiv said that he was a Ukrainian serviceman, a simple soldier, a patriot, and added that he would always defend Ukraine.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has already said that the verdict will be challenged.

"Twenty-four years for Vitaliy Markiv is an unfair and shameful decision of the Italian court. It will be challenged. Our Guard and Ukraine are not to blame for the death of reporter Rocchelli," Avakov said.

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