Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The family of the Italian press photographer Andrea Rocchelli, who was killed in Donbass, demands compensation from Ukraine in the form of €500,000. This was said in the documents that accompanying the draft of the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers.
According to this decree, the government on Wednesday, October 24th, allowed the Ministry of Justice to carry out in the current year the procurement of legal services in order to participate in proceedings concerning the claim of Rocchelli’s relatives.
It is specified in the accompanying documents that on July 31st the court of the city of Pavia (the region of Lombardy, Italy) accepted for consideration the lawsuit of Rocchelli’s relatives against the state of Ukraine.
The court based its decision on the fact that Ukraine is obliged within the framework of the Geneva Convention for the Protection of war victims to defend the civilian population in the conflict zone.
The basis of the claim is the indemnification of the family of the deceased, and the Italian National Press Federation, the Lombardy Journalists Association, and the association of freelance journalists “Cesure Lab” also joined proceedings.
The claim will be considered in parallel with the criminal case against the serviceman of the National Guard of Ukraine Vitaly Markiv, who is accused of participating in the murder of the press photographer.
At the same time in the documents it is stated that the Security Service of Ukraine is also investigating Rocchelli’s death, but it is specified that the circumstances of the crime can’t be established because the inspection of the scene was performed only 6 months after the murder.
Prior to this the territory was controlled by soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
“In addition, at the moment the location of the medical expert who carried out the autopsy isn’t known, since he travelled out of the borders of Ukraine. The location of the documents that were made after the autopsy and their issuance also isn’t known,” it is specified in the documents.
In August of the current year the Ministry of Justice created the interdepartmental working group for questions connected to Rocchelli’s case.
At a meeting of the group it was decided to involve a legal adviser to defend the interests of Ukraine in the appeal instance, and a state strategy of actions concerning this case was also developed.
It is emphasised that the absence of an authorised representative of Ukraine may lead to the Italian court adopting a decision that isn’t in Ukraine’s favor.
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