Investigative experiment carried out with Sheremet murder suspect Kuzmenko – police
An investigative experiment procedure has been carried out in the case on the murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet with the participation of volunteer and children's doctor Yulia Kuzmenko, one of the suspects in the case. Two other suspects – military nurse Yana Duhar and veteran of the antiterrorist operation in Donbas Andriy Antonenko – refused from participation in it, the National Police of Ukraine reported.
The Main Investigations Department of the National Police of Ukraine scheduled the investigative experiment for the night on January 3, 2020. The defense lawyers of the three suspects were informed about it in advance. However, only Kuzmenko's lawyer confirmed his client's consent to participate in the procedure.
On January 3, Kuzmenko and her defense lawyer Vladyslav Dobosh participated in the investigative experiment and had no complaints about it, the police said.
At the same time, Antonenko and Duhar refused to give evidence and participate in the investigative experiment. Antonenko explained his refusal by the absence of his defense lawyer.
The police reported that they provided Antonenko with a lawyer from the free legal aid center, however Antonenko's lawyer arrived at the investigative experiment site, refused to participate in the procedure and hindered the crime re-enactment with Kuzmenko.
In turn, lawyer Masi Nayyem said that Antonenko's lawyer was not allowed to enter the experiment site, while the media were admitted to it.
He also said that the defense lawyers of the suspects were not informed about the investigative experiment in time.
Nayyem also stressed that, according to item 4 of Article 223 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, investigatory experiments cannot be carried out at night (from 22:00 until 06:00) except for urgent cases when a delay may result into loss of evidence in the criminal case or escape of a suspect.
"Pavlo was murdered three years ago, they cannot lose evidence in the case. An escape is impossible – the suspect is detained," the lawyer said.
As reported, Journalist Sheremet was killed in a car explosion in central Kyiv on July 20, 2016. The explosion occurred when Sheremet was driving a vehicle that belonged to Ukrayinska Pravda co-founder Olena Prytula, who was not in it at the time. The journalist died at the scene shortly following the bomb blast.
On December 12, 2019, police conducted a number of searches and notified several people of their status as suspects in the Sheremet assassination case. Later in the day, the National Police and Interior Ministry held a briefing, at which President Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke, to inform the public about a number of interim investigation findings and the suspects' names.
Military nurse Yana Duhar, volunteer and children's doctor Yulia Kuzmenko, and musician and veteran of the antiterrorist operation in Donbas Andriy Antonenko were officially notified of being suspected of killing Sheremet. The spouses Vladyslav and Inna Hryshchenko, also Donbas war veterans, were detained as suspects in a different case but were named as possibly having relation to the killing of Sheremet as well.
Ukrainian National Police deputy chief and criminal police chief Yevhen Koval said the investigation was inclined to assume that the primary motive of Sheremet's assassination was an attempt to destabilize the sociopolitical situation in the country.
On December 13, 2019, Pechersky District Court ordered the arrest of Duhar, Kuzmenko and Antonenko until February 8, 2020.