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Detained man dies under suspicious circumstances in police custody

06.10.2008    source:
A criminal investigation has been launched after a 39-year-old died after being detained by police officers in Prytyky.

A 39-year-old businessman Serhiy Kuntsevsky died on 2 October from a closed skull injury in the premises of the Chernihiv Regional Department for Fighting Organized Crime [UBOZ] in Prytuky.  Journalists were informed of this by the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Internal Security Service Yury Martynenko, who stated: “He [Kuntsevsky] was taken to these premises and died under unexplained circumstances.”.

He said that UBOZ officers had at 13.30 on 2 October detained Mr Kuntsevsky on suspicion of committing a crime. At 22.00 a doctor pronounced him dead from a brain haemorrhage caused by a closed skull injury. “It is not at present clear how this happened”.

Martynenko added that the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor had initiated a criminal investigation under Article 121 § 2 of the Criminal Code (grave bodily injuries causing death) and Article 365 (exceeding authority or official powers).

He stressed that only a criminal investigation could establish what really happened since the UBOZ officers denied using physical force against the victim.

Martynenko reported that the detention had been carried out by the Chernihiv Regional UBOZ together with a special unit “Sokil” and that he had seen on the video footage that during the detention the suspect had had a black polyethylene bag placed over his head which is unlawful and not foreseen by any police order or law.

He said that some police officers had been detained over the matter and added that the video footage of the detention had been sent to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko.

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