Italian court used russian fake news in Markiv case

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A large amount of “evidence” in the case of Vitaliy Markiv, a Ukrainian National Guard serviceman convicted in Italy, has been used from russian propaganda sources, Ukrinform reports.

This is stated in an article titled “How russian Propaganda Showed Up in an Italian Murder Trial,” which was published in The New York Times on December 17.

As it turned out, among the evidence presented by Italian prosecutors were reports from publications that are generally considered outlets for russian propaganda. In particular, video materials bearing the logo of russia Today were used in the case.

“Experts say the inclusion of two videos from russia Today, plus a report on the website Russkaya Vesna that the Ukrainian government said was false, raised questions about the extent to which fake news, after infiltrating the West’s news media and elections, is now penetrating its courts,” the article reads.

The author notes that according to the prosecutor in the case, Andrea Zanoncelli, in the summer of 2016, a Google search led him to an article published by Italy’s leading daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera. It was a purported interview with an unidentified captain from the Ukrainian army stationed in the area.

“Don’t come here, it’s a strategic area,” the captain was quoted as saying. “Usually we don’t shoot toward the city or at civilians, but as soon as we see anything move, we fire heavy artillery. That’s what happened with the two journalists and their interpreter.” The prosecutor saw it as an admission of guilt, despite Italian journalism’s usual lack of rigor, according to the newspaper.

The Italian police subsequently determined that the anonymous army captain was Markiv.

In addition, among the evidence presented were videos described as “open source,” “found on YouTube” or “from a local TV station,” all of which bore the logo of russia Today and are still found on its YouTube channel.

Markiv’s defense team called the sentence “political” and declared the intention to file an appeal. Later, the lawyers said a court of appeal could deliver its judgment in the spring of 2020.

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