Investigation of AN-26 plane crash in Kharkiv region ended
Law enforcement officers have finished an investigation into the criminal proceedings into the AN-26 plane crash near Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region in September 2020, which killed 26 servicemen, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) said.
"Six servicemen, the Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the former commander of the A4104 military unit and two of his deputies, the former head of flights at Chuhuiv airfield and at that time the acting head of the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University of Kharkiv are suspected of not providing security flights in the directions entrusted to them, violation of the rules of preparation and conduct of flights, as well as negligence in military service (Article 416, Part 3 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine)," the PGO said in a statement on its website.
According to the PGO, the violations committed were of a systemic nature and were committed at the stage of preparation for flights, since there were persons on board the aircraft who should not be there at all. There were also violations during the flight, which was resolved in violation of the rules for operating the aircraft and the rules for flying. When the crisis occurred, the flight management did not take sufficient adequate measures to avoid the plane crash.
In turn, the SBI, which conducted a pretrial investigation into this case, reports on its website: "For the first time in the history of Ukraine, in a short time, the SBI investigators ensured a quick, complete and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the plane crash, during which, among other things, more than 150 different examinations were carried out."
The SBI said that three persons who were informed of suspicion in this case last week, the deputy commander of the A4104 military unit (Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region), the deputy commander of the same unit for flight training (in violation of the rules for preparing and conducting flights and negligent attitude to military service (Articles 416 and Part 3 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), as well as the deputy of the regional council, who at that time served as the head of the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University of the Air Force (in a negligent attitude towards military service) on May 3, 2021, Pechersky District Court chose a measure of restraint in the form of overnight house arrest.
"Currently, all suspects, their defenders and victims (relatives of the victims) have been informed about the completion of the pretrial investigation and provided with unhindered access to the production materials. Based on the results of meeting the requirements of Article 290 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, the indictment will be sent to the court," the PGO said in the statement.
The SBI counts on the proper procedural behavior of all participants in the proceedings in order to send the indictment to court as soon as possible.