Kherson deputy governor suspended from office amid Handziuk murder probe

13:47, 11 February 2019
Ukraine
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Facebook Yevhen Ryshchuk

"I've signed Yevhen Ryshchuk's application for temporary suspension for the period of the investigation of the Handziuk murder case," he said.

At the same time, Gordeev expressed confidence that Ryshchuk had nothing to hide and would cooperate with the investigators as much as possible.

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As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko on Monday said Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger had been served with charge papers as an organizer of the assassination of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk.

UNIAN memo. Kherson activist, adviser to the Mayor of Kherson and acting manager of affairs at Kherson City Council's executive committee Kateryna Handziuk, 33, on July 31, 2018, survived an act of acid throwing.

She suffered burns to more than 35% of her body and underwent 11 operations in Kyiv to treat her horrific injuries.

Handziuk died on November 4, 2018. The immediate cause of her death was given as a severed blood clot resulting from the acid attack.

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

Six suspects were detained, one of whom, Mykola Novikov, was later released from custody as charges against him were dropped. The alleged participant in the assassination, Serhiy Torbin, and Mykyta Hrabchuk, another suspect in the case, are in custody.

Three other suspects – Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, and Viktor Horbunov – were placed under house arrest.

On November 5, the media reported that Torbin had allegedly received money for the attack on Handziuk from Ihor Pavlovsky, an assistant to Member of Parliament from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Mykola Palamarchuk. Palamarchuk in turn dismissed any accusations of his possible involvement in the assassination attempt on the activist. He also said he had dismissed Pavlovsky. On November 12, a court ruled to detain Pavlovsky. According to the SBU Security Service, he is suspected of complicity in the Handziuk murder.

Chief Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko announced on December 3 that the investigators had identified all the individuals who had ordered the assassination. He also named Oleksiy Levin (his real second name is Moskalenko) who later was placed on the international wanted list on December 10, 2018, on suspicion of involvement in the Handziuk assassination.

On January 31, 2019, Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger announced the suspension of his membership in Yulia Tymoshenko's Batkivshchyna Party for the period of the investigation of the Handziuk murder case.

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