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Events 2019-05-15T05:23:37+03:00
Ukrainian news
Today Marks 1 Year Since Murder Of Journalist Sheremet

Today Marks 1 Year Since Murder Of Journalist Sheremet

A vehicle belonging to the Ukrainska Pravda online publication's head Alena Pritula, in which journalist Pavel Sheremet was traveling, was blown up at the intersection of Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street and Ivan Franko Street in Kyiv at about 08:00 on July 20, 2016.

Sheremet was injured in the blast and died in an ambulance.

Investigators have established that the explosive device that blew up the vehicle was triggered remotely.

Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko has said investigators are focusing on revenge for Sheremet's professional activities as the main motive for his murder.

Representatives of the FBI are involved in the investigation.

The National Police has released a video from surveillance cameras, which shows that the explosive device was planted at night by a man and a woman.

It has been established that the male suspect has a height of 168-175 centimeters and had a "Spanish" beard while the female suspect is 5 centimeters shorter.

On October 28, 2016, Ukrainska Pravda published a material with documentary evidence that its journalists were under surveillance and that the work of its editorial office was being monitored.

According to the materials, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) collected information about the publication's journalists and editorial office at the request of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration.

Oleksandr Vakulenko, the deputy head of the National Police, announced at a news briefing on February 8, 2017, that the National Police believed that the main motive for the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet was his professional activity in Ukraine and other countries.

"Those journalistic investigations that have not been completed are worthy of attention. The journalist's professional activity outside Ukraine is also being considered. The journalist's publications and programs were critical of the current authorities in both the Republic of Belarus and in the Russian Federation," Vakulenko said.

In addition, according to the deputy head of the National Police, another motive that is being considered is "destabilization of the situation in the country, which is due to the impudence and demonstrative nature of the murder of the journalist."

Vakulenko said that 1,800 people had been questioned, including more than 300 direct eyewitnesses of the explosion and residents of the houses near the site of the explosion.

According to him, investigators have seized about 150 terabytes of information from surveillance cameras and investigators continue to study this information.

An investigative documentary entitled "The Murder of Pavel" by Slidstvo.Info and representatives of the OCCRP international network of investigative journalists was presented on May 10, 2017.

After the presentation of the documentary, one of its authors, journalist Dmytro Hnap said that the recordings from some surveillance cameras were not given to the police or journalists because SBU officials seized the relevant computer servers and did not return them or erased the data on them.

In addition, recordings from three key surveillance cameras (the National Bank of Ukraine's surveillance camera at 5, Ivana Franko Street; the Radisson Hotel's surveillance camera at 22, Yaroslaviv Val; and a McDonald's restaurant's surveillance camera at 40/25, Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street) were not given to journalists.

According to him, the storeowner said that SBU officers seized the server on which video from the surveillance camera was recorded and that files containing two weeks of vide-surveillance information had been deleted when they returned the server.

In addition, investigative journalists managed to establish that SBU officer Ihor Ustymenko was near Sheremet's house on the eve of his murder.

Ustymenko himself refused to comment on his ties with the SBU. The SBU also declined to comment.

According to investigative journalists, Ustymenko was present near Sheremet's house for several hours during the night when the explosive devise was planted under his car. Several surveillance cameras captured Ustymenko near Sheremet's home.

Ustymenko arrived there in a gray Skoda Octavia vehicle with the license plate AA 2551 MO, which is registered to Natalia Leonidovna Zaretska.

In a comment to journalists, Zaretska and Ustymenko gave conflicting evidence about the purchase of the vehicle. Ustymenko was also unable to clearly explain his presence near Sheremet's home.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine deny investigative errors.

In response to criticism by journalists, President Petro Poroshenko promised to do everything possible to identify the perpetrators and urged law enforcement officers to deliver public reports on the results of the murder investigation.

The Ukrainian National Union of Journalists has also called for a public report from the authorities. This call has been supported by international journalistic and human rights organizations, which have also criticized the Ukrainian authorities for the absence of results in the investigation into the murder of Sheremet.

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