Kateryna Handziuk's Father Calls on Zelenskyy to Keep PG Riaboshapka
4 March, 2020

The father of the slain activist Kateryna Handziuk, Viktor, called on the head of state not to dismiss the Prosecutor General Rouslan Riaboshapka. He says under his tenure the murder case has begun to move forward.

Viktor Handziuk wrote this on Facebook.

The Ukrainian Parliament registered the draft resolution on dismissal of the Prosecutor General on March 3.

READ MORE: Over 150 MPs Call for Dismissal of Ukraine PG Riaboshapka

"All Katya and I heard from [his predecessor] (Yuriy Lutsenko - Ed.) were loud and delusive promises and reproaches, whilst the current one seems to have got things moving," he said.

In July 2018, activist and Kherson mayoral advisor Kateryna Handziuk suffered an acid attack. She died four months following the attack, a consequence of the many burns caused by the acid.

For three months the matter was investigated by the National Police. It was first handled as a case of hooliganism, then as grievous bodily harm. Two days after Handziuk’s death, on November 6, then-Prosecutor General Lutsenko transferred the case to the State Security Service (SBU), and the case was reclassified as premeditated murder. 

READ MORE: Rally for Murdered Activist Kateryna Handziuk: What We Know One Year Later

Viktor Handziuk also mentioned that a suspect in the case, Oleksiy Levin, was recently detained in Bulgaria. On top of that, Riaboshapka began to "look into criminal groups" operating in Handziuk’s home region.

"And here is the news — Mr. Riaboshapka is being removed. Will it all start anew? Will there be new prosecutors who will re-familiarize themselves with the case? Will they start complaining about the 'predecessors' again?" Viktor addresses President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

He also wondered why, if Riaboshapka bears responsibility for the failed cases, such responsibility is not borne by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

"Where is the responsibility for the escape of Levin, who was warned by the head of the regional police [Artur] Merykov, and Avakov has now promoted him? Where is the responsibility for the police for destroying some of the materials in the case because most of the policemen who actively assisted my daughter's murderers were ‘swept under the carpet’?" Viktor stressed.

He added that in addition to this case, under Minister Avakov police officers failed to solve cases of dozens of attacks on activists across the country.

READ MORE: Murdered Activist Handziuk Believed 2 State Officials to Be Behind Attack on Her

Viktor also added that the name of the prosecutor general was not important for him.

"However, I want to ask you, Mr. President: what about your promises that the new Prosecutor General's Office will bring Katya's case to an end? You personally promised me and the whole country that Katya's killers will be put in jail?" he said.

Handziuk emphasized that Zelenskyy is the guarantor that Levin will be extradited to Ukraine, and those involved will be held accountable.