Handziuk murder case: Prosecutor general says new suspects could be charged
Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says new suspects may appear in the case of the murder of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk.
In a Facebook post published on Tuesday, Lutsenko recalled that, as of today, five people are already serving sentences for the said crime, while the investigation into another person that could be complicit in the assassination, Ihor Pavlovsky, is being heard by an Odesa court.
He also noted that the deal with the investigation, which Pavlovsky concluded, will help solve the crime.
"It is on an agreement with Pavlovsky that the possibility of bringing to justice the organizers, Manger and Levin, is based," wrote Lutsenko.
Lutsenko added that by the end of the week, chairman of the Kherson regional council Vladyslav Manger will receive a notification of the completion of the pre-trial investigation and start reviewing the materials of criminal proceedings.
Regarding the Oleksiy Levin, another suspect who already has a criminal record, Lutsenko recalled that he is now hiding abroad, but the PGO is working to have him extradited to Ukraine.
Also, Lutsenko noted that in the near future, new suspects could appear in the Handziuk case.
"There’s another episode here: are these all who are complicit in the murder? Now I'm heading off to the SBU to meet with one very important witness. If we get reliable testimony, then we may have progress regarding other persons involved in this case," the prosecutor general wrote.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 5, Viktor Handziuk, the victim's father, stated that the prosecutor’s office continues to "ruin" the case. According to him, the prosecutor’s office did not inform him that a court in Odesa would be hearing the case vs Pavlovsky.
Handzyuk also said that the PGO, without the consent of the victim's side, would try to strike a deal with Pavlovsky if he pleaded guilty.
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. Social activists believe that former Chairman of Kherson Regional State Administration Andriy Gordeev and his deputy, Yevhen Ryshchuk, are involved in the Handziuk murder.
On April 12, the then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted Gordeev's resignation.