Handziuk murder case: Suspect Pavlovsky released from custody at prosecutor's request
Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district court has released Ihor Pavlovsky, a suspect in the murder of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk, from custody.
He was placed under house arrest and obliged to wear an ankle monitor, Press Secretary of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine Andriy Lyshenko said.
According to him, the court hearing took place on April 26 and the court satisfied a claim filed by a prosecutor to change the suspect's pretrial restriction.
Earlier, on April 24, the court rejected a motion filed by Pavlovsky's lawyers to change his pretrial restriction from detention to personal recognizance, and ruled to keep him in custody until April 30.
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. Handziuk died on November 4, 2018. The immediate cause of her death was 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, were remanded 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.
Head of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger is charged with organizing the assassination.
On April 17, 2019, Pavlovsky's lawyer said the article under which his client is charged had been changed from Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (complicity in murder) to Article 396 (concealment of a crime), which provides significantly less punishment, i.e. up to three years in prison. It also allows lawyers to file a motion for a less severe pretrial restriction.