Andrea Rocchelli. Why the judgment in Italy for his death in Ukraine concerns us all

OSSIGENO – November 3rd  2020 –  On the evening of November 3rd 2020 the appeal court in Milan overtunend the first degree judgment this way: Markiv acquitted, no one is guilty – In first instance Markiv had been sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment – The compensation to the civil parties from him and from the Ukrainian State have also been cancelled – Read more details here

This is the statement made by Alberto Spampinato, President of Ossigeno, while waiting the conclusion of the Milan appeal trial

Ahead of the appeal trial of those sentenced for the death of Andrea Rocchelli, I invite you to read the dossier that Ossigeno per l’Informazione has dedicated in these days to this courageous Italian photojournalist killed in Ukraine in 2014 during the conflict in the Donbass region. The judgement was expected in the evening of Nov.3rd . Our dossier was published yesterday on the anniversary of the UN International Day to put an end to impunity for crimes against journalists (IDEI).

The dossier informs on what the media have not reported on regarding the progress of this trial that began two years ago in Pavia. Few have paid due attention. Ossigeno, on the other hand, provided professional news coverage of all the hearings in the trial. It did so in support of Andrea Rocchelli’s family members who have filed a civil action and demand truth and justice.

I also hope that in this and other similar cases justice will be done in the name of truth and that political pressure and diplomatic reasons will be rejected which claim to justify crimes that can be justified neither in peacetime nor in time of war.

Ossigeno has collected in the dossier the reports of the criminal trial for the death of Andrea Rocchelli, precisely to raise the question of the vast impunity of those who commit such crimes. It wanted to raise this question starting from a very specific case in which the first instance judges identified an individual as responsible and sentenced him to 24 years in prison, finding him guilty of complicity in murder for what he did while serving as a military in an area of conflict in another nation.

The Milan Court of Appeal will state today how it judges the request to annul  the sentence and how it judges the Ukrainian State cited as civilly responsible for what happened in 2014.

The good relations between Italy and Ukraine have nothing to do with what the judges have to decide but relationships will improve if a fair and just sentence is passed. I believe that this trial in its entirety is interesting for all those who care about the fight against impunity for crimes against journalists and for anyone who knows the enormous difficulties that often hinder the work of judges committed to achieving justice for a reporter killed in a war zone. I hope that the Ossigeno dossier will help focus attention on these events. ASP

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