war crimes in Ukraine

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Six former police officers sentenced over the killing of a detainee


The Konotop City-District Court (Sumy region) on 16 December handed down its verdict in the much publicized prosecution of officers of the Department for Fighting Organized Crime [UBOZ] in the Chernihiv region. Six of the nine were convicted of exceeding official powers and unlawful methods of detective inquiry.

The criminal investigation was initiated in October 2008 following the death of Serhiy Kuntsevsky who 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.

The court found that there had been violations of criminal procedure legislation during the detention of the Kyntsevsky brothers, Y. Musiyenko and O. Mykhalyonko on suspicion of criminal activities. It also established that torture had been applied in the form of beatings and other forms of violence aimed at extracting confessions, with these having had grave consequences.

Two officers holding managerial positions had given their subordinates knowingly unlawful instructions, clearly exceeding their official powers and had personally taken part in the torture. They were sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

Another two officers received four year sentences.

Two officers of the special division “Sokil” were sentenced to three and a half years and three years imprisonment with a trial period.

All those convicted were stripped of their military rank.

The Prosecution had demanded that a further three individuals be found guilty of exceeding their power, however the court acquitted them. In view of this, the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor plans to lodge an appeal.

Press Service of the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office

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