Kyiv Court Refuses To Mitigate Pretrial Restrictions For Two Suspects In Sheremet’s Killing

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A Kyiv court has refused to mitigate pretrial restrictions for two suspects in the high-profile 2016 killing of journalist Pavel Sheremet in the Ukrainian capital.

The Kyiv Court of Appeals on February 14 remanded Yulia Kuzmenko, a pediatric surgeon, in pretrial detention and left curfew restrictions for military paramedic Yana Duhar.

Kuzmenko, Duhar, and Andriy Antonenko, who is being held in pretrial detention as well, were arrested in December as suspects in the case.

Vladyslav and Inna Hryshchenko, a married couple suspected in another unrelated case, were declared persons of interest in the Sheremet case.

All five took part in military operations in different capacities in Ukraine’s east, where government forces are fighting against Russia-backed separatists.

The Interior Ministry and the National Police said in December that the group’s goal was “to destabilize the political and social situation in Ukraine” by killing Sheremet.

Sheremet, a Belarusian-born Russian citizen who had made Kyiv his permanent home, was leaving his apartment to head to the studio where he hosted a morning radio program when an improvised explosive device planted under the vehicle he was driving exploded on July 20, 2016, killing him instantly.

Sheremet’s killing underscored concerns over a climate of impunity for attacks on journalists and others who challenge the authorities, while the government has faced persistent criticism over a perceived lack of progress in solving the case.

Last month, Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said additional evidence was needed for the Sheremet’s murder case to go to trial.

Sheremet’s mother, Lyudmila Sheremet, told RFE/RL in December that she does not know if the suspects are guilty or not, but that she is afraid “innocent people may be hurt” as officials try to show they’re making headway in the case.

With reporting by UNIAN and Ukrayinska Pravda

News – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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