Handziuk murder: Kherson regional council claim chief on vacation, refuting allegations of "fleeing justice"

20:30, 23 November 2018
Ukraine
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Photo from UNIAN

“The chairman of the Kherson Regional Council is on vacation from Nov 19 to Dec 3. Due to professional considerations, Manger intends to interrupt his vacation and start work from Nov 26,” the statement reads.

Read alsoUkraine's parliament sets up commission to probe into attacks on Handziuk, other activists

The press service added that the reports claiming Vladyslav Manger is a suspect in the Handziuk murder case are false. "The chairman of the Kherson regional council, together with other leaders of regional bodies, was questioned by the investigating authorities as a witness," the department said.

On Nov 23, Newsroom Telegram channel reported that one of the persons involved in the case of the murder of local municipal official and activist Kateryna Handziuk, chairman of the Kherson Regional Council and the regional branch of the Batkivshchyna Party, Vladyslav Manger, on Nov 20 flew from Kyiv to Paris.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Kherson activist, advisor to the Mayor of Kherson and acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council's executive committee Kateryna Handziuk on July 31 was attacked with sulphuric acid. Over 30% of Handziuk's body was affected.

Read alsoEU on Handziuk's murder: Tangible steps needed to reverse attacks against activists

She was transferred to a Kyiv hospital, where she died on November 4 after a long treatment.

Police originally qualified the attack on the official as an attempted murder committed with extreme cruelty, then its status was changed to completed murder.

Seven suspects were detained, one of whom, Mykola Novikov, was later released from custody as charges against him were dropped. Three suspects – Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, and Viktor Horbunov – are now under house arrest.

Two suspects – Serhiy Torbin and Mykyta Hrabchuk – remain in custody, as well as Ihor Pavlovsky, another suspect in the case who is ex-aide to MP Mykola Palamarchuk.

Previously, human rights and NGOs made public an open letter demanding a public report on the investigation of the Handziuk case.

They demand the resignation of Prosecutor General Lutsenko and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

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