Handziuk murder: Suspect Levin appeals court ruling on his extradition

12:19, 25 February 2020
Ukraine
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Photo from UNIAN

"My client has decided to file an appeal against the ruling of the Bulgarian court regarding permission for extradition at the request of the Office of the Prosecutor General [of Ukraine]. This decision was taken by Levin himself. His Bulgarian lawyer is preparing an appeal. And it will be filed," Levin's lawyer in Ukraine Mykhailo Velychko said.

Read alsoSuspect wanted in Ukraine activist murder arrested in Bulgaria

The lawyer says he cannot not yet say how long the issue will be considered in the court of appeals, but predicts it will not happen this month.

"At least, I think it will happen by the end of this month. I look forward to a court hearing in Bulgaria in the first ten days of March," Velychko said.

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.

On February 22, the court of the city of Burgas (Bulgaria) ruled to extradite Levin to Ukraine.

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