Lawyer Ilya Novikov: It’s been an extremely productive week on the Savchenko case #FreeSavchenko

By Ilya Novikov, Attorney for Nadiya Savchenko
08.01.2015
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

[It’s been] an extremely productive week on the Savchenko case.

Even a month ago I did not think that we would be going to court with such a splendid alibi and such international support. But first things first.

1. Nadiya’s book “The Strong name Nadiya” [“Hope”] was submitted for publication. She asked me to write the preface – to explain to everyone that it was I who persuaded her [to write it], rather than her taking to writing due to excess of literary ambitions. Myself, I have never read any prefaces in my life, and I have no idea what people write in them, and what their purpose is in the first place. But I honestly recounted how everything happened. The publisher promised to release a pilot print run before the verdict. The book is funny, you can read it in one breath; it reminds me of the Sea Stories by Alexander Pokrovsky.

2. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of European countries informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine that their diplomatic representatives will be present at the hearings for cases of Savchenko and Sentsov. Donetsk [Rostov Oblast of the Russian Federaton] is far [to get to] from anywhere, but there were about 5 people from different embassies even at the preliminary hearing. Because it was a closed hearing, they had to wait in the hallway, but they would not leave. Their presence is important in and of itself, even if a diplomat does not speak Russian and does not entirely understand what is happening.

3. The SSU [Security Service of Ukraine] and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine initiated criminal proceedings against two Russian investigators who had clearly falsified evidence in the Savchenko’s case, and against three judges who had extended her detention in violation of her PACE immunity and Russian laws. I was asked to withhold the details for now, especially about another person of interest in these proceedings, so I will not [reveal more at this time].

[Official representative of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Vladimir] Markin, in his usual street-wise style, made a joke in his statement on the Investigative Committee’s website, saying that the prosecutors will get a big fat nothing*, but this joke holds as much water as those of stand-up comedians who mock the MN17 tribunal. I imagine that the defendants in the proceedings do not find this amusing. And the only reason why Markin himself was not included on that list was the restraint exercised by Ukrainian investigators who compiled it. The first version of the list includes only those individuals who are one hundred percent liable for the violation of Article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine [illegal confinement or kidnapping], whose signatures are on the documents, and whose role will be easy to demonstrate to international tribunals. Accomplices and benefactors, as usual, will he dealt with next.
*[“They’ll get a donut hole, not Sharapov.” – quote from the Soviet film The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed]

4. The preliminary hearing in Donetsk [Russia] has been wrapped up. The Rostov Oblast court must make a determination whether it is appropriate to hold a hearing 1,000 km [621 miles] away from all experts and 500 km [310 miles] from half the witnesses. I think that they will quickly give it a green light and return the case to Donetsk, but this pause of a few days was very valuable for us – finally, all expert opinions and expert conclusions that we were expecting have been signed, and are being translated into Russian. They are ruthlessly beautiful.

5. Nadiya’s phone billing records for two phones (with one and two SIM cards) were provided to the Investigative Committee back in December [2014]. Based on one number (operator MTS Ukraine), it appeared that on June 17, at 10:44-10:46 am, Nadiya was in the middle of Luhansk; based on the second (operator life:) and third (MTS Ukraine again) numbers that at 11:02-11:13 am and later, she was in the area of Krasnodonska Street, location of the separatist base in the former military enlistment office, where she was held captive until June 23. The artillery shelling that resulted in the journalists’ death took place at 11:40 am. To avoid acknowledging the alibi, the ICRF found specialists and experts who wrote that, based on the fact that the nearest antenna was not operational, and Savchenko (according to the investigators) was directing fire from a 40-meter mast near Stukalova Balka, her phone could have “caught” the phone mast in Luhansk. Seeing as the operating radius of such phone masts is up to 30 km, there existed a technical possibility that at the time, Nadiya was outside the city…

6. Well, all this turned out to be a complete nonsense.

7. On Tuesday, I received a response to my request  for information from the specialists of life:) [cell phone carrier]. The investigation’s version is baseless. The direction is wrong, the azimuth values are wrong, and [mobile] communications were working without interruptions in the combat area. Because the response [by the carrier] contains proprietary information, I was strongly urged to not make it public, except as part of the court materials. However, the court hearing must be open, and we will read the entire document at the hearing, so that specialists can then verify all calculations. They confirm preliminary findings for the phone data of the number +380630713521 as follows:
17.06.2014 11:02 121 Oboronna street, 105-U, AZ=20
17.06.2014 11:05 136 Shevchenko quarter, no number, AZ=120
17.06.2014 11:07 121 Oboronna street, 105-U, AZ=20
17.06.2014 11:09 121 Oboronna street, 105-U, AZ=20

This is an abridged version of the billing table. Date – time – base station address – azimuth. Azimuth is the most important thing for us. It is an angle value marking the bisecting line of the reception sector of the antenna that made the connection, counting from 0 – northward. Azimuth values of 20 and 120 always correspond to different retransmitting antennas. At 11:02, 11:07, and 11:09, one of Savchenko’s phones was located north of the mast in Oboronna Street, and at 11:05, it connected to another retransmitter. The phone was located southeast from that second transmitted. It COULD have been the area of the enlistment office, and could NOT have been the area of Stukalova Balka.

8. Yesterday, I received a response from the specialists at MTS Ukraine. Same picture again – wrong angles, wrong masts, and the frequency of phones in Stukalova Balka connecting to base stations in Luhansk is 0.0000000%. When making those connections, the phone could not have been there [Stukalova Balka]. This response was not accompanied by a request for strict confidentiality, so we are going to publish it next week along with the original materials and conclusions by the Russian experts. In brief, the billing is as follows:

Phone number  +380508607805:
17.06.2014 11:03 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 11:03 101 Oboronna Street, AZ=130
17.06.2014 11:03 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 11:03 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 11:03 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 11:13 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 40
17.06.2014 11:24 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130

Phone number +380664219241:
17.06.2014 10:44 7 Karla Marksa Street, AZ=100
17.06.2014 10:46 16A P. Soroki Street, AZ= 305
17.06.2014 10:46 16A P. Soroki Street, AZ= 305
17.06.2014 10:46 16A P. Soroki Street, AZ= 305
17.06.2014 15:15 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 15:15 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130
17.06.2014 15:16 101 Oboronna Street, AZ= 130

If anyone is interested, you can play around with a map and a protractor – it was quite entertaining. For those who are too lazy, our experts have drawn up beautiful illustrations. Everything comes together – at 10:44 am, Nadiya was being taken from Stukalova Balka towards the military recruitment office in Krasnodonska street, passing through the city center; by 11 am, she was delivered there, and she also remained there during the second half of the day.

9. This morning, we received an expert opinion prepared by the Kyiv Research Institute of Forensic Science, as requested by the Resolution of the SSU in relation to the criminal case of Savchenko’s kidnapping. [The document is] in Ukrainian, we will post it in full as soon as we translate it. [It is] about a video shot by Yegor Russkiy, the “people’s mayor” of Lutuhyne. He was among the separatists who took Savchenko prisoner. For a start, I was surprised that the ICRF [the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation] submitted the video into evidence in the first place. I filed a motion requesting to locate and question Russkiy, whom we found in Vkontakte [VK social network], even without knowing whether [Russkiy] was his real name. [The motion] included a CD with a YouTube video, which did not shed light on anything. Why the ICRF did not say that Russkiy cannot be found, and why that anonymous footage cannot be included in the case evidence – that I don’t know. Maybe they decided that it would play into their hands. One way or another, Russkiy was summoned from the LNR [Luhansk People’s Republic] and questioned, and had his disc with files taken away from him. After viewing the files, video experts in Kyiv immediately said that the file creation time was changed – moved backwards by 1 hour 30 minutes, in each of the 29 files. The EXIF blocks (whatever those are) contain the original timestamp, recorded by the camera’s timer. This alone is interesting – because someone went to the trouble of editing the files by hand, but did not know that deeper traces would remain. Not a specialist. When I wrote about this briefly, the media immediately reported “Savchenko’s Defense Accuses Investigation of Falsifying Evidence.” Personally, I don’t think this was done by the ICRF, but rather, [I] think that the unskilled falsifier was Russkiy himself. But that is not of critical importance right now.

10. The trouble is, the timer settings in Russkiy’s camera were off from the start, and even with the 1.5 hour adjustment, the time stamps are ridiculous – according to them, the events happened between 19:59 and 23:37 [7:59-11:37 pm] on June 16, while everyone understands that in reality, the time was the morning of the 17th. In our motions, we suggested to the investigators, twice, to try and establish the time using the position of the sun. Knowing place, date, and compass bearings, that is quite an easy task – at least it was considered such when we were graduating, back when astronomy had not yet been replaced by the foundations of Orthodoxy. The ICRF denied our request, and even provided a letter from the Sternberg Astronomical Institute with the Moscow State University, stating that the time of Savchenko’s abduction cannot be determined based [solely] on the footage, because the 11-second fragment of DSCF1379.avi does not show the sun or any other reference points. We suggested to determine the time based on the shots with the sun (there are plenty of those), from other files, and to use that data and the timestamp of each file to estimate, with some error, when the video fragment with Savchenko was filmed. This suggestion was also turned down, without going into detail.

11. Ukrainian experts, however, calculated everything quite simply. They took four appropriate freeze-frames from three different files, measured the angle of the sun’s elevation over the horizon, and tabulated them. It turned out that the recording time of the DSCF1379.avi corresponds to 10:31 am on 17.06.2014, give or take 10 minutes. This fits well with the version that at 10:44 am, Savchenko was being driven through Luhansk, and does not fit at all with the version that at 11:40 am she was directing the fire of Ukrainian howitzers. A plausible explanation also arose as to why Russkiy’s camera had the wrong time setting – if someone does not speak English well, and does not understand the difference between A.M. and P.M., they will not care whether their timer shows 10 in the morning or 10 in the evening. Adjusted back from the artificially subtracted 1.5 hours, the recording time of DSCF1379.avi falls at 22:31 [10:31 pm] on June 16. Without such an adjustment, at 21:01 [9:01 pm], I can easily imagine the people’s mayor of Lutuhyne, is making a statement to the ICRF that Savchenko was captured after noon or even after 1 pm – right after hastily editing the files, dialing back the time that contradicts his version, by the odd hour and a half. Perhaps at the time he thought he was being very ingenious.

All in all, the Investigative Committee had a fantastic run of bad luck in this case. As in the case with the BUK missiles [the MH17 crash], the lower ranks ruined the whole deal for their leaders. Separatists should have taken the phones away from Savchenko right away, and switched them off. Instead of shooting home videos, Yegor Russkiy should have been heroically shooting at the junta [Ukrainians], something he had come to Ukraine to do. And even if he shot those videos, he should not have brag-posted them all over VK. And even if he brag-posted them, he should not have given the videos to the investigators, but [instead] told them he had already deleted them. And the investigators should not have included the video in the case evidence. Or requested the phone billing records from the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the FSIN [Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia] should not have let the attorneys sign the documents on Savchenko’s nomination to the [Verkhovna] Rada. They should not have given anyone any access to her. Detain her in secret, and try her in secret. And now it is too late. All they have left to do now is their shame and Markin’s gang signs.

Caption: Figure 10. Freeze frame from DSCF1349.AVI
Figure 10 shows a freeze frame from the video footage file DSCF1349.AVI, showing the road and a person moving away from the camera. Let us plot the angle ABC, with the sides of the angle being the shadow cast by the person on the road, and the line connecting the topmost point of the person’s figure and its projection on the shadow. The value of the angle is 34.84 degrees (see scale fragment in Fig. 11 and the Sun’s real elevation in Fig. 12). Under conditions described above, the Sun’s elevation of ~34.8 degrees corresponds to the approximate time of 08 hours 11 minutes.

Sources: Ilya Novikov FB

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This entry was posted in #Free Savchenko, English, English News, War in Donbas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lawyer Ilya Novikov: It’s been an extremely productive week on the Savchenko case #FreeSavchenko

  1. Parece ser o começo de uma grande vitória para Nadiya Savchenko.

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