Pilot accused in journalists' deaths to learn fate

Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko maintains her detention in Russia is politically motivated.

Story highlights

  • Ukrainian pilot says she was kidnapped in Ukraine and brought to Russia
  • Nadezhda Savchenko has gone on hunger strikes to protest her detention
  • She's hailed as a hero by Ukraine's President
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that a verdict had been reached in the trial of Nadezhda Savchenko. No formal verdict has yet been reached.

Moscow (CNN)A judge on Monday began reading the verdict in the trial of a Ukrainian pilot charged in the deaths of two Russian journalists.

Nadezhda Savchenko was arrested in 2014, charged in the deaths of two journalists killed during fighting in eastern Ukraine.
    Savchenko has said she did not kill anyone, maintaining she was kidnapped in Ukraine and brought across the border into Russia before being charged.
    She says her detention is politically motivated.
    The hearing was expected to continue Tuesday.
    Savchenko has gone on hunger strikes during her captivity -- including one that lasted 83 days -- to protest her detention.
    In a letter from prison written in response to questions from CNN last year, she said she had already been in captivity for an hour when the Russian journalists were killed.
    "The 'rebels' themselves told me that those journalists came under fire of their own 'makhnovtsi' (slang for 'anarchists')," she said.
    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko awarded Savchenko the title Hero of Ukraine, one of the nation's highest honors. She was also voted into the Ukrainian parliament in absentia.