"Judge Natalia Samotkan who sentenced General Nazarov is going to stand trial! She is one the few judges who dared to oppose the system! Military experts, pilots Pakholchenko and Lukianchuk also dared to provide truthful conclusions about the causes of the disaster and were eventually fired for that!" Iliana Haiduk, the sister of a trooper killed in the Il-76 crash, wrote on social media, Censor.NET reports.
"Not only Nazarov was unpunished and continues occupying his post, he filed a lawsuit against the judge over alleged distortion of facts. Thank God all the hearings were captured on camera so her point can be easily proved. But do not forget that Nazarov’s wife works in the Higher Qualification Commission of Judges as Deputy Head of the Judicial Career Department. So, you can imagine the extent of her influence. I call on the public to protect the truth represented by the judge (Samotkan). The case is to be heard by the High Council of Justice at 12 Studentska Street, Kyiv at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. It will be attended by the parents of the soldiers killed in the IL-76 crash," she said.
On June 14, 2014, Ukraine's Il-76 military-transport carrier with 40 paratroopers and nine members of the crew on board was shot down while landing in Luhansk airport. Nobody survived the crash.
Dec. 17, 2015, the Pavlohrad city district court of the Dnipropetrovsk region started a trial into the Il-76 case.
The only defendant, Major General Viktor Nazarov, was the commander of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) HQ at the moment of the tragedy. He was charged under part 3 article 425 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (habitual negligence in office during war, causing grave consequences).
The commission that carried out a complex military-tactical criminalistic analysis concluded that Nazarov was the one directly obliged to take measures to suppress the air defense of terrorists and ensure a safe passage of the aircraft.
The investigators questioned 132 witnesses and conducted 112 examinations.
On March 27, 2017, the Pavlohrad city district court sentenced Nazarov to seven years in prison. He was not deprived of his military rank. The moral damage suffered by the families of the victims is to be compensated by the Ministry of Defense. However, only the closest relatives - parents and wives - will receive a compensation. The amount of compensation is 500,000 hryvnia ($18,367) for each family.