UPDATED: ‘5 Ex-Berkut Officers Charged With Maidan Crimes Are on Exchange List’ - Prosecutor
28 December, 2019

UPDATE: The Kyiv Court of Appeal has released three detainees accused of killing 48 and injuring 80 people on Instytutska Street on February 20, 2014 - Oleh Yanishevskyi, Serhiy Zinchenko and Pavlo Abroskin. The court also overturned the arrest of two other ex-Berkut officers also accused in the "Maidan case", Serhiy Tamtura and Oleksandr Marynchenko. They were all released on personal recognizance.

Zinchenko and Abroskin had been held in the pre-trial detention center since April 2014, while the other three: Yanishevskyi, Marynchenko, and Tamtura since February 2015. In October 2019, the court changed Tamtura's measure of restraint — his 24-hour home confinement was changed to nighttime only, while Marynchenko's was released and confined to 24-hour house arrest on December 19, 2019.

Prosecutor Serhiy Kutsyi has confirmed that the former fighters of the Berkut special forces, accused of the shootings on the Maidan, are on the exchange list. Because of this, the prosecutors are asking to change the measure of restraint for the former law enforcers.

This is reported by a hromadske correspondent from the courtroom.

The men involved are Oleh Yanishevskyi, Serhiy Zinchenko and Pavlo Abroskin, who are in custody, as well as Serhiy Tamtura and Oleksandr Marynchenko, who remain under 24-hour house arrest.

READ MORE: Ukrainian Parliament Unblocks Euromaidan Investigation

At the court hearing, Kutsyi read out the order of Prosecutor General Rouslan Riaboshapka, in which he demands to change the measure of restraint for the accused to personal recognizance.

The Court of Appeal in Kyiv is continuing its hearing of appeals on December 28. The appeals are against the pre-trial detention of ex-Berkut men accused of killing 48 and injuring 80 people on Instytutska Street on February 20, 2014.

The defense of the accused in this case Yanishevskyi, Zinchenko and Abroskin asks for the three men to be released from custody. As for the other two defendants in the case — Tamtura and Marynchenko, who are in around-the-clock home confinement — they want their measure of restraint to be canceled altogether. However, if prosecutors insist on changing the measure of restraint on the grounds that ex-Berkut officers are on the exchange list, their defense claims the accused are not guilty of the crimes put forward by the investigation.

READ MORE: How Have the Investigations Into Crimes Against Euromaidan Participants Progressed?

Prosecutors Oleksiy Donskyi, Ihor Zemskov, Yanis Simonov and Denys Ivanov, who had been dealing with the “Maidan case” for several years, have been excluded from the case of shootings in the Instytutska Street. Instead, new prosecutors have been appointed: Serhiy Kutsyy, Vitaliy Subotin, Oleksandr Shevalenko. The resolution was approved by Prosecutor General Riaboshapka.

This comes five days after the negotiations in Minsk where the Trilateral Contact Group on Donbas agreed on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics” by the end of 2019. Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously announced that the exchange is scheduled for December 29, but the final lists have yet to be agreed.

Thanks to the support from our readers, Hromadske International has been existing for five years. We cover hot-button political topics, high-profile corruption, and human rights issues. We report from the Donbas and annexed Crimea. If you would like to support Hromadske International, you can donate on this page

Unlike many other media in Ukraine, we are not owned by oligarchs or politicians. Please help support independent journalism in Ukraine.