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Report: Judge In Savchenko Case Resigns

A Russian judge who presided over high-profile hearings against Ukrainian aviator Nadia Savchenko has stepped down, according to a report.

The Donetsk City Court in Russia's Rostov region told RIA Novosti news agency on August 22 that the judge, Leonid Stepanenko, had resigned on July 29 due to a decision of the regional bar association.

No details were provided.

Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency quoted the Donetsk City Court as saying that Stepanenko resigned on his own free will and the bar association had accepted his resignation letter merely as a formality.

Stepanenko was appointed as a judge to the court in 2008.

According to the court's website, Stepanenko did not issue any acquittals in the 187 cases he presided over since his appointment.

Savchenko was captured by pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine's east in June 2014 and later transferred to Russia.

Stepanenko handed her a 22-year prison sentence on March 22 after finding her guilty of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists covering the Ukrainian conflict.

In May, Savchenko was freed as part of a prisoner swap.

With reporting by RIA
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