ROME (AP) — An Italian court has convicted a Ukrainian man who was serving as a volunteer fighter in eastern Ukraine of killing an Italian photographer who was covering the separatist fighting.

The judge in Pavia, Italy, also announced a 24-year prison term for Vitaly Markiv.

Journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian translator were killed and a French photographer was seriously wounded during a mortar attack in 2014.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov tweeted that the ruling Friday was "unfair and shameful" and will be appealed.

Markiv later became a serviceman in Ukraine's National Guard but at the fighting's start, the Ukrainian government allowed volunteers to fight.

Italian news reports said Markiv, 29, who proclaimed his innocence in court, has dual Ukrainian-Italian citizenship and was arrested at an Italian airport in 2017.

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