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25.07.2013

Witness in Indylo death trial changes his story

   

Oleksandr Khomenko, the friend of the young student, Ihor Indylo who died in police custody in 2010 has now changed his testimony.  On Wednesday during questioning in court, he stated that nobody had pushed Ihor in the interview room of the Shevchenkivsk District Police Station where an administrative protocol was being drawn up.

At the beginning of the questioning, Khomenko say that he almost doesn’t remember the events of that day and asked the judge to read out his testimony from the previous hearing.  The judge, however, continued asking him questions.

The prosecution asked him whether he had told anybody that Indylo had been pushed in the police station. Khomenko answered that he had not spoken with anybody on this subject.

He also said that he didn’t remember the events and that he had been in hospital with a nervous breakdown following the death of his friend.

He said that Prykhodko [the main person charged with ““exceeding official powers accompanied by actions denigrating the personal dignity of the victim”] had driven him back to the hostel and that he had only learned of the death of his friend the next morning.

Ihor Indylo died during the early hours of what was to have been his twentieth birthday.  Video footage shows a young man walking without any obvious inebriation into the police station.  He died around 6 or 7 hours later of injuries which were not treated, and which the police claimed he sustained from falling in a drunken state from a bench in the cell (which is 50 cm from the ground). 

The CCTV footage shows that at 21.49 police officers dragged Ihor to the cell and left him on the floor. Despite his extremely chaotic movements he was left until 4.51 when he was found dead.

During the original trial Prykhodko claimed that Ihor Indylo fell in the interview room.  Khomenko asserted that he hadn’t seen anything, but heard his friend fall. 

Khomenko has been very reticent about saying anything, and most people following the case reported him seeming very frightened.

It should be stressed that there was initially total silence over Ihor’s death, and any attempts to investigate came only after a TV report on 1 + 1 revealed information about the death, arousing public outrage.

In December 2011, Serhiy Kovalenko was amnestied. He had been charged with “professional negligence without grave consequences” for not checking the grounds for detaining Ihor Indylo..

On 5 January 2012 Serhiy Prykhodko received a five year suspended sentence for “exceeding official powers accompanied by actions denigrating the personal dignity of the victim”.

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