Handziuk murder: Bulgarian court rules to extradite suspect wanted in Ukraine
The court of the city of Burgas (Bulgaria) has ruled to extradite one of the suspects in a deadly attack on Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk, Oleksiy Moskalenko (aka Levin), who was previously put on the wanted list in Ukraine.
"There is no reason or evidence that would confirm that this person in Ukraine will be subjected to violence, torture or cruel, inhuman treatment or his rights related to criminal prosecution in accordance with the requirements of international law are not guaranteed," the court's decision says, as reported by hromadske with reference to the Bulgarian media.
The court also ruled to arrest Levin to ensure his actual transfer to Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.
Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Trepak has confirmed the information, but emphasized this is only the first instance: the detainee has the right to appeal the decision, the appeal will be considered within seven days from the date of its submission.
UNIAN memo. Kherson activist, advisor 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 had been dropped. On May 7, 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office sent an indictment against five defendants in the case of the murder: Mykyta Hrabchuk, Volodymyr Vasyanovych, Vyacheslav Vishnevsky, Serhiy Torbin, and Viktor Horbunov. On June 6, the court announced their sentences.
Torbin, the organizer of the murder, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison. Hrabchuk, the actual perpetrator of the crime, was sentenced to six years in prison. Accused of aiding, Vasyanovych and Horbunov were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively; accomplice Vishnevsky's sentence is four years' imprisonment. Oleksiy Levin, who has a criminal record, as well as Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manger and Ihor Pavlovsky, who was an assistant to MP from the Petro Poroshenko's Bloc Mykola Palamarchuk, are also figures in the Handziuk murder case.
Moreover, public activists believe that former Chairman of Kherson Regional State Administration Andriy Gordeev and former Deputy Chairman of Kherson Regional State Administration Yevhen Ryshchuk were involved in the crime.
On January 27, Levin was taken into custody in Bulgaria's Burgas for a 40-day term after being detained on January 24.