Police requalify attack on Handziuk as premeditated murder
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, police investigators have reclassified the attack on Kateryna Handziuk, former acting administrator of the executive committee of Kherson City Council and advisor to the Kherson mayor, as premeditated murder.
"Currently, criminal proceedings on the attack on Handziuk are being investigated as a completed crime - under paragraphs 4, 6, 11 and 12 of Part 2 of Article 115 of Ukraine's Criminal Code (premeditated murder committed by a group of people, for mercenary motives, with particular cruelty)," the Liaison Department of Ukraine's National Police said in a statement on Sunday.
Spokeswoman of Ukraine's Prosecutor General Larysa Sarhan said five people have been identified by law enforcement officers as suspects of organizing and committing the crime against Handziuk. She said all of them have remanded to pretrial custody as preventive measure.
According to Sarhan, 367 people have been questioned about the crime and Ukraine's SBU Security Service is trying to determine who commissioned the attack.
Information about the death of Handziuk was reported on Facebook on Sunday and later confirmed by Ukrainian officials, including President Petro Poroshenko.
As earlier reported, an unidentified young man splashed acid onto Kherson City Council employee Handziuk in Kherson early on July 31. She was hospitalized locally and airlifted to a Kyiv hospital the following day.
On August 1, investigators changed the article of the Criminal Code under which the crime is being investigated from "intentional serious bodily harm committed with the aim of intimidating the victim" to "attempted murder with extreme atrocity."
First Deputy Head of the National Police of Ukraine Viacheslav Abroskin said that Handziuk had agreed to cooperate with investigators to help uncover this crime.
On August 3, Chief Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko announced that the SBU Security Service of Ukraine would handle the case.