Searches being conducted at relatives of Kuzmenko, suspect in Sheremet assassination – lawyer
Searches are being held on Thursday morning at the home of Yulia Kuzmenko, the children's heart surgeon suspected of assassinating journalist Pavlo Sheremet, as well as at her relatives, lawyer Taras Bezpaly has said.
"Searches of Kuzmenko's flat and at her relatives are taking place," Bezpaly said on Facebook page on Thursday morning, adding they began at 06:20 in the morning.
The lawyer said the searches were sanctioned by the decision of the investigating judge of Pechersky District Court of Kyiv in the framework of the criminal proceedings involving Sheremet's murder.
"There's no evidence in the case. They are looking for something, at least," he 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.