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KDU head Bělobrádek to address Putin over Savchenko case

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Prague, March 8 (CTK) – Czech government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) head Pavel Belobradek said yesterday he will write to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the case of Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot jailed in Russia, to criticise the violation of human rights and international law in her case.
Belobradek, who is deputy prime minister, said he will send the letter via the embassy.
Opposition TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek did not push through his proposal that the Chamber of Deputies support the letter by Polish and Ukrainian intellectuals to European leaders, calling on them to seek Savchenko’s release.
The Communist (KSCM) MPs prevented his proposal from being included in the agenda of yesterday’s session. Kalousek then asked the deputies to sign a petition in support of Savchenko.
This morning, Belobradek pointed to the petition that calls on European leaders to take extraordinary efforts for the release of Savchenko, who has been charged with murder, attempted murder and illegal crossing of the Russian border.
The prosecution blames Savchenko of the death of two Russian journalists and demands a 23-year prison sentence for her.
Savchenko pleads not guilty.
At a press conference earlier this afternoon, Belobradek said he does not plan to sign the petition but wants to write directly to Putin.
“I believe that the impact of a petition is weaker than when a deputy prime minister of an EU member country writes a letter to the president of the Russian Federation,” Belobradek said.
In his letter, he wants to protest against the violation of human rights and express his solidarity with Savchenko within the international context, he said.
“I will call for the international law to be observed,” he said.
Belobradek said the KDU-CSL group of deputies, too, plans to address the Russian ambassador with a similar appeal.
Savchenko went on hunger strike in protest against her imprisonment last week. Her health condition has been reportedly deteriorating rapidly.
Her trial, in which no verdict has been ruled as yet, is to be reopened on Wednesday.

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