: Savchenko, lawyers criticise hearings as hunger strike enters second month
Politics20:27 Jan. 25, 2016

Savchenko, lawyers criticise hearings as hunger strike enters second month

Russian kangaroo court continues

Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko has been on her latest hunger strike for over a month. Savchenko's lawyers say her health has sharply deteriorated after she refused to imbibe nother but water, tea and glucose drips. Since mid-December, she has reportedly shed 15 kilograms.

Nadiya Savchenko, imprisoned Ukrainian pilot: "I want you, gentlemen, - the judge and state prosecutor - to know what it's like to be without rights in your Russia. You are presiding over an alleged criminal offense that transpired in a foreign country. The defendant - me - was kidnapped and brought here. As the defendant, I hearby declare to you that I have had no opportunity to defend myself. You have not allowed any of our appeals. You have ignored them, yet you will claim to judge the case fairly. This is the problem."

Read also Ukrainian pilot held in Russia says she will refuse water after her verdict is passed

Savchenko's lawyer Mark Feygin also lambasted the judge:

"We are unable to normally submit evidence for the record. You - the presiding judge - are preventing us from proving Savchenko's innocence. What sense does this trial have - does our work have - if you reject all appeals from the defedant?"

Savchenko is accused of killing two Russian journalists and of crossing the Russian border illegally. Her lawyers say she had already been detained when the reporters died and was brought to Russia against her will.

Savchenko next week is expected to deliver her closing speech before the trial against her adjourns for sentencing. Feygin and Savchenko's other lawyers, Russian and Ukrainian human rights advocates, as well as Western officials, say the case against her is political.

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