13:30 06.08.2018

Ukrainian court extends ex-MP Shepelev's arrest for two more months

2 min read
Ukrainian court extends ex-MP Shepelev's arrest for two more months

A court has extended the term of pretrial detention by another two months for former Member of Parliament Oleksandr Shepelev, who is suspected a number of crimes, including state treason.

"The term of detention has been extended by the court for another two months," the speaker of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Andriy Lysenko told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday.

According to him, the court's decision to extend the preventive measure was made on August 5.

Shepelev's preventive measure has been repeatedly extended by Kyiv's Pechersky district court since his arrest.

As earlier reported, Shepelev (a parliament deputy during its fifth and sixth convocations) was detained in March 2015 by Russian law enforcement officers after he fled from a Kyiv hospital in the summer of 2014 together with a security guard. The ex-MP was declared internationally wanted by law enforcement agencies of Ukraine.

The wanted ex-deputy was accused in Ukraine of stealing Rodovid Bank's money and ordering several murders, in particular, of banker Serhiy Kyrychenko in 2003 and police colonel Roman Yerokhin in 2006, and an attempted assassination of banker Serhiy Diadechko in 2012.

On March 21, 2015, a Russian court issued a ruling on Shepelev's extradition, but the ex-deputy remained in Russia all this time. The Russian side refused to extradite Shepelev to Ukraine.

In August 2016, Ukraine's Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios said Shepelev was under investigation under Part 1 of Article 111 (high treason) of Ukraine's Criminal Code.

On February 8, 2018, Ukraine's SBU Security Service arrested Shepelev, who was carrying a certificate issued by the so-called "Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People's Republic" to the name of lieutenant colonel Mykola Borukh.

On February 9, the ex-MP was taken to Kyiv's Pechersky District Court with bruises on his face and what he claimed was a broken jaw.

On February 10, the Pechersky District Court remanded him to pretrial custody for two months.

The SBU on February 23, 2018, said it was checking whether Shepelev had legally crossed the Ukraine-Russia border.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has claimed there are documents confirming that Shepelev was an agent of Russia's Secret Service.

Shepelev in previous convocations of the Verkhovna Rada was a member of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2007 – 2010) and the Party of Regions parliamentary faction (2010).