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Russian Rights Ombudsman Demands Prosecutors Disclose Ukrainian Pilot's Location

Ella Pamfilova

Russian Human Rights ombudsman Ella Pamfilova sounded the alarm Thursday over the failure of prosecutors and prison officials to disclose the location of jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who is accused of having been involved in the deaths of two Russian journalists.

Earlier this month, the Prosecutor General's Office announced that Savchenko's case would be decided in a court in the Rostov region city of Donetsk, rejecting the defendant's request to transfer jurisdiction to Moscow.

Until recently, Savchenko had been detained in Moscow, but her lawyer Ilya Novikov said in a Facebook post Friday that she had been transferred to Rostov-on-Don.

Pamfilova's office released an announcement Thursday stating that the prosecutors had failed to disclose Savchenko's exact location.

In a letter to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and Director of Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service Gennady Kornienko, Pamfilova demanded that they disclose her precise whereabouts promptly.

Savchenko, 34, has been in Russian custody since July 2014. She stands accused of direct involvement in the deaths of Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, employees of Russian state-owned television and radio company VGTRK, who were killed in eastern Ukraine in a mortar attack last June.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 30 in the city of Donetsk. According to TASS, it will be held behind closed doors.

Savchenko and her lawyers deny the charges against her and insist the pilot was brought into Russia against her will after being taken captive by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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