Ukrainian pilot Savchenko's lawyer expects good news

Lawyer Ilya Novikov expects good news about the future of his client, whom a Russian court has sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Lawyer Ilya Novikov expects good news about the future of his client, Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko, whom a Russian court has sentenced to 22 years in prison.

"There is some information, which I can't disclose, but it also indicates that there might be good news within the next few days. We hope this will happen sooner rather than later," Novikov said in the TV program Black Mirror on the Ukrainian television channel Inter in the early hours of April 9.

Novikov said information he possessed indicated that Savchenko would not be sent to a correctional facility to serve her time.

"After all, negotiations between Moscow and Kiev are under way, and I'll say cautiously that they are moving more or less in the right direction, although slower than we would like them to. And we expect some fundamental news next week. I think everybody understands, including in Russia, that an attempt to convoy Nadiya in her current state [to a correctional facility] would in fact mean an attempt to disrupt these negotiations. I believe nobody wants this," Novikov said.

Savchenko has been on a hunger and thirst strike for three days, and some signs of dehydration are already visible in her, Novikov said. "Her skin is very dry, and her mucous membranes, gums, and tongue have started turning white," he said.

"The head of the detention center's administration warned that they would start force-feeding her soon," but Savchenko is determined to resist this, Novikov said. "She has her own plans in the event of this. She thinks she can prevent this," the lawyer said.

The Donetsk Town Court in Russia's Rostov region ruled on March 22, 2016 to find Savchenko guilty in the killing of Russian journalists of Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin by a group of individuals acting in concert on grounds of hatred and enmity and sentenced her to 22 years in a general security penitentiary.

The court also found her guilty of an attempt to kill and of illegally crossing the border.

The sentence took legal effect on April 5. Savchenko is currently being held at a pretrial detention facility and has declared a hunger and thirst strike.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.