Ukraine: Benedetto Della Vedova writes to von der Leyen, demanding EU observers for Vitaly Markiv’s appeal process
Today the secretary of +Europe, Benedetto Della Vedova, has sent a letter to the President of the newly installed European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders. The letter is an appeal concerning the “Markiv case”: the trial which has found the Ukrainian soldier (and also Italian citizen) Vitaly Markiv guilty in the first instance of the homicide of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrei Mironov, who died on 24 May 2014 in Sloviansk, on the front line separating Ukrainian forces from pro-Russian separatists in Donbas.
The sentence was pronounced at the end of a trial where the defence lawyer — Raffaele Della Valle, who defended Enzo Tortora in a famous case concerning links with organised crime — declared to have seen things he’s never seen in his 52 years of professional life.
In his letter, Della Vedova identifies the contradictions and absurdities of the sentence. By the end of the trial, nothing had proven either the responsibility of Markiv, or that of the Ukrainian military forces. Moreover, the investigators never even visited the crime scene. On these grounds, the secretary of +Europe asks President von der Leyen and Commission Reynders to ensure the presence of European Commission observers for Vitaly Markiv’s appeal process.