President hopes for fair verdict in Handziuk case

President hopes for fair verdict in Handziuk case

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he hopes that a court will pass a fair verdict in the case of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk.

The head of state said this at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"About those who killed Kateryna Handziuk. The people who killed have been imprisoned. There are questions as to those who ordered [the killing]. We have answers. We know who ordered it. Now, this case has been forwarded to the court, and the court, I'm sure, will pass a fair verdict and those who ordered the killing will be imprisoned. The last step left is the court. The court must be independent and give an independent verdict. We can't put pressure on the court, but we will do everything to make everything really fair," Zelensky said.

On April 27, the Office of the Prosecutor General and the SBU said they had completed the investigation into the case of the attack on Handziuk. However, activists claim that law enforcement officers forwarded the case to court without completing all investigative acts.

On July 31, 2018, activist Kateryna Handziuk was poured with sulfuric acid near the entrance to her house in Kherson. She sustained burns to 40% of her body. Handziuk underwent several surgeries but died on November 4 of the same year.

Five people were detained on suspicion of involvement in Handziuk's murder. On November 12, 2018, Ihor Pavlovsky, a former aide to MP Mykola Palamarchuk, was arrested.

On February 11, 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office served Chairman of Kherson Regional Council Vladyslav Manher with a notice of suspicion in organizing Handziuk's murder. The court chose a measure of restraint for him in the form of detention with the possibility of posting bail of UAH 2,497,300, which was put up.

On June 6, 2019, five direct perpetrators of the attack were sentenced to three to six-and-a-half years in prison.

In January 2020, Oleksiy Levin, an aide to a Kherson Regional Council deputy, was detained in Bulgaria for organizing the acid attack on Handziuk.

On March 16, Levin was extradited from Bulgaria to Ukraine.

According to investigators, Levin is a key figure who connects perpetrators and those who ordered the attack on Handziuk. He is suspected of organizing this crime, inciting others to commit it, and providing information, in particular, about Handziuk's place of residence.

In March 2020, the court extended the investigation of the case against Levin until July 29.


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