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Head of a Regional Department for Fighting Organized Crime dismissed over the death of a detainee

The dismissal of Mykola Sych follows the initiation of a criminal investigation into the death in Prytuky of Serhiy Kuntsevsky while in police custody

The Minister for Internal Affairs has issued an order dismissing the Head of the Chernihiv Regional Department for Fighting Organized Crime [UBOZ] Mykola Sych. News of this was issued on Wednesday by the Head of the Chernihiv Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA] Ivan Katerynchuk.

Mr Katerynchuk said that the dismissal was connected with the criminal investigation launched at the beginning of October against UBOZ employees on suspicion of causing the death of a detainee in Prytuky.  He explained that Mr Sych is presently on sick leave. “He has been dismissed from the post he held and must himself decide on his continued service in the Internal Affairs bodies.

Mr Katerynchuk also informed that a check was to be undertaken in the city – district police departments in Prytuky. “Their heads are on sick leave however I do not exclude the possibility that they will be dismissed when they recovered”, he stated.

He pointed out that iPrytuky and Ripky had the worst situation as regards refusals to initiate criminal investigations. “We want to ensure that police officers do not conceal crimes. Nobody is asking about the percentage of cases solved. All statements should be registered”, he stated, and warned of severe response to concealment through refusals to launch criminal investigations.

As reported already, Serhiy Kuntsevsky died on 2 October from a closed skull injury in the premises of the Chernihiv Regional UBOZ  in Prytuky.  Video footage of the actual detention showed officers putting a polyethylene bag over his head.  He was detained in the early afternoon and died at around 10 in the evening.  Shortly afterwards the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor reported that a criminal investigation had been initiated against  three officers and a lower-ranking employee of the Chernihiv UBOZ in Prytuky on suspicion of inflicting grave bodily injuries causing death and exceeding their official powers  (Articles 121 § 2 and 365 § 3 of the Criminal Code, respectively

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