One of the most shocking tragedies of last year was the death of Kherson activist and city council worker Kateryna Handziuk. She was attacked with acid outside her apartment block in Kherson back in July, after which she spent four months battling with her injuries, until she died on November 4, 2018. Despite the fact there have been a number of arrests since then, the masterminds are yet to face punishment.
Late activist Kateryna Handziuk’s father Viktor at a session of the temporary parliamentary commission into his daughter's murder on January 28, 2019. Photo: Bohdan Kutiepov / HROMADSKE
Handziuk’s father Viktor recently spoke at a session of the temporary parliamentary commission, which was set up in the days following her death to investigate her murder. In his heartfelt address, Handziuk criticizes the authorities’ ability to bring known criminals to justice, specifically naming politicians from Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna party and Petro Poroshenko Bloc.
“For me, the Batkivshchyna party is now the party of my daughter’s murderers. For me, Petro Poroshenko Bloc is now the party of my daughter’s murderers,” Viktor Handziuk states.
The following is a full translation of Handziuk’s father’s speech.
Good day. I would like to make a short statement, but it is hard for me to talk about my daughter’s death. Therefore, I ask you to show respect for me and my daughter… and not interrupt. You’ve had six months to say whatever you’re thinking. Six months from the attack against Katia to her death. From her death to today. Therefore, be patient and listen to the father of the deceased in silence for five minutes.
To lose a daughter. To come to terms with the fact she’s not here anymore. To come to terms with the fact that she was killed so cynically and viciously, as if it were medieval times. To come to terms with the fact that this whole time, the investigation had to be forced to look for the attackers, forced to look for the organizers, forced to look for who ordered it.
Thanks to pressure from Katia’s friends, pressure from her colleagues, pressure from journalists, which still have some honor and dignity, it was possible to establish the entire chain, from the people who carried out the murder to those who ordered it.
Prosecutor General Lutsenko knows who ordered it. The SBU know who ordered it. I am certain the the Interior Ministry knew who had ordered it from the start. They knew and they stayed silent.
A search for the person suspected of organizing the murder has now been officially announced. This is the crime boss Moskal, who did not simply come from the street to commit the murder. He came to this from the Kherson Regional State Administration, where he worked closely with specific people, from whom he had been given specific tasks.
I don’t care if the crooked Interior Ministry, the apathetic SBU or the idle Prosecutor’s Office have concrete evidence against those who ordered the murder. I don’t care how all these people lie, how they don’t have the power to punish the guilty. It doesn’t matter.
I only know one thing: when someone suspected of organizing a murder, a crime boss recently released from prison, works with the head of the Kherson Regional Council, Batkivshchyna party member Vladislav Manger, and when a crime boss works closely with the head of the Kherson Regional State Administration, Petro Poroshenko Bloc party member Andrii Gordieiev, a crime boss works closely with Godfieiev’s deputy Yevhen Ryshchuk, these people must be disappear from the political horizon. They have been compromised forever.
I want everyone who knew Katia, everyone who has heard of Katia, everyone who sympathized with her, who loved her and supported her struggle to understand that, for me, Kateryna’s father, there is no difference between those who ordered the murder and those who have been covering it up the whole time. For me, the limit is lost.
For me, the Batkivshchyna party is now the party of my daughter’s murderers. For me, Petro Poroshenko Bloc is now the party of my daughter’s murderers.
However, I still believe that this country is changing. I believe that those who ordered it, the organizers and those who carried out the murder will be punished. I believe that both Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko are not prepared to go to the elections with blood on their hands. I believe that they will hear the pain of a father who has lost his daughter, and remove any links to the cynical murder of my Katia as soon as possible. I believe that they will draw the boundary here and now. They will show that there is a boundary that cannot be crossed.
I believe that the guilty in this country will be punished at last. And that everyone rightly gets what they deserve. Thank you for your attention.
No further comments. Goodbye.