Manher, Levin to be tried for organizing attack on activist Handziuk

Manher, Levin to be tried for organizing attack on activist Handziuk

An indictment has been filed against Vladyslav Manher, the Kherson Regional Council chairman, and Oleksiy Levin, an ex-aide to a Kherson Regional Council deputy, for organizing an attack on activist Kateryna Handziuk, the press service of the Prosecutor General's Office has said.

"Prosecutors of the Prosecutor General's Office have filed an indictment against the chairman and a former aide to a deputy of the Kherson Regional Council for ordering and organizing the attack on Kateryna Handziuk on July 31, 2018," the statement said.

The pretrial investigation established that Manher and Levin, who was extradited to Ukraine from Bulgaria, had organized, on prior collusion with a group of individuals, premeditated grievous bodily harm in a manner that had signs of special torture and caused Handziuk's death (Part 3 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 28, Part 2 of Article 121 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

According to the statement, they are both currently in custody. The term of the measure of restraint for Manher was extended until September 11, 2020, and that for Levin was extended until August 24, 2020.

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

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

On February 11, 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office served 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 prison terms of three to six-and-a-half years.

In January 2020, Levin 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 about Handziuk's place of residence.

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


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