Trial of police officers over death of Yevhen Zvenigorodsky continues


On 11 January hearings continued in the trial of three police officers – B. Tsykhmystro, A. Marchenko and A. Lazarev over the death of 32-year-old Yevhen Zvenigorodsky from Kharkiv.  The three are charged with unlawfully detaining Mr Zvenigorodsky (under 365 § 3 of the Criminal Code - exceeding power or official authority with grave consequences -  while B. Tsykhmystro is also charged under 121 § 3 - deliberately inflicting bodily injuries with elements of torture. Both articles of the Criminal Code carry sentences of from 7 to 10 years.

The Kyivsky District Court heard the conclusions from forensic examinations and watched video footage from the regional police department. The forensic tests found that Mr Zvenigorodsky died from a stomach injury, and that he had been beaten no later than 5 hours before his death.  This, according to Ihor Davydov, the lawyer representing Mr Zvenigorodsky’s family means, that the injury was inflicted when he was already in the police station.   He says that according to the examination, Yevhen Zvenigorodsky had a large number of injuries over his entire body. The cause of death was haemorrhaging as the result of no less than four blows to the stomach.

According to Vitaly Adonin, Yevhen’s friend who was also detained, the beating continued in the car. He says that during the interrogation, Yevhen Zvenigorodsky complained that he was feeling bad, but the police did not call an ambulance.  It was only when his state seriously deteriorated that they took him out into the park and left him on a bench. An ambulance was called by patrol officers, but it was too late to save him and he died on the operating table.

The lawyers representing the defendants assert that Yevhen Zvenigorodsky received his injuries before he arrived at the police station.

Tsykhmystro is charged under two articles of the Criminal Code –and The other two are accused of exceeding official authority with grave consequences.

As reported, at the end of March 2011 a man was found in a grave condition on a city square in Kharkiv, near a police station. It transpired that 32-year-old Yevhen Zvenigorodsky had been detained by police, together with another man, Vitaly Adonin. 

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