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Ukrainian Pilot Savchenko's Sister Charged With Contempt of Court

Vera Savchenko, sister of Ukrainian army officer Nadezhda Savchenko.

A criminal case has been lodged in Russia against Vera Savchenko, the younger sister of captured Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who went on trial in southern Russia's Rostov region on Sept. 22, defense lawyer Mark Feygin wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

The younger Savchenko has been charged with contempt of court. Another member of Nadezhda Savchenko's defense team, Ilya Novikov, tweeted Monday that she had referred to a judge by an offensive term during the proceedings.

According to Russian law, she faces a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($3,360) or six months in custody.

The Russian court is considering lodging criminal charges against two of Nadezhda Savchenko's defense lawyers, Nikolai Polozov and Feygin, the Ukrainian edition of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported Wednesday.

They are accused of unlawful publication of materials relating to the testimony of self-appointed head of the eastern Ukraine Lugansk region Igor Plotnitsky, during court proceedings on Nov. 18, the report said.

Vera Savchenko had earlier quoted a Russian border guard who told her that she was banned from entering Russia until 2020. She was the sole defense witness scheduled to appear in her sister's trial at the time, Russian media reported, and was later allowed to enter the country.

Twenty-four copies of her sister's autobiography were seized from her at the Russian border this week, Ilya Novikov wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Nadezhda Savchenko has been charged with abetting the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region last year, before crossing into Russia illegally.

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