Ukraine Police to Add Hromadske Investigation to Journalist Murder Probe
11 May, 2017

Ukraine's Interior Ministry intends to question the filmmakers behind the journalistic investigation into the death of journalist Pavel Sheremet. Ihor Ustimenko, a figure identified in this documentary film investigation, has also been called in for questioning.

Head of the National Police, Serhiy Knyazev, said that the journalists' investigation into Sheremet's murder will be added to the existing case file.

Screenshot from the film "Killing Pavel"

In a statement to "Ukrayinska Pravda", he said: "We will connect the journalists' story to the materials for the criminal proceedings and verify the information contained there."

Knyazev is in charge of overseeing all task forces of the National Police involved in the murder case. According to Knyazev, the group met to discuss errors in the murder investigation and the facts stated in Hromadske's story.

Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov, told "Ukrayinska Pravda" about the results of the meeting of the investigative police team in charge of the case:

"Emotions aside, a lot of the facts from this investigation are interesting to us – we call the authors and Ihor Ustimenko in for questioning,"–he said.

Screenshot from the film "Killing Pavel"

Journalists from Hromadske's investigative unit "Slidstvo.Info" presented a documentary film investigating the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet.

In particular, the film stated that a person connected to the SBU, Ihor Ustimenko, was at Sheremet's home the night before the murder.

Later, the SBU stated that Ustimenko was released in 2014.

Journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed in Kyiv on July 20, 2016 when the car he was driving exploded.

The explosion occurred at 7:45 am at the downtown corner of Bohdan Khelnytsky and Ivan Franko streets, opposite a McDonalds.

The car belonged to the head of "Ukrayinska Pravda", Olena Pritula, who was not in the car at the time of the explosion. According to police, the bomb was very close to the journalist, at the bottom of the car.

Screenshot from the film "Killing Pavel"

After the murder, investigators refused to disclose material information regarding the course of the investigation, created for special groups with the assistance of the FBI.

However, on February 8, 2017 Minister of Interior of Ukraine Arsen Avakov held a press conference on the current state of the Sheremet murder investigation.

To date, investigators have exmained five versions of the journalist's murder. Despite numerous examinations, the questioning of 1000 people, and extracting over 150 terabytes of video from CCTV cameras, they have yet to determine an official suspect in Sheremet's killing.

Journalists from "Ukrayinska Pravda" published material that cited facts and presented documents stating that the publication was under surveillance. According to their testimony, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies were involved. Avakov's department said that they checked the claims and deny the fact that the security services were monitoring the journalists.

Adding to this is the data presented in the film as a result of work by investigative journalists from Hromadske's “Slidstvo.Info” and the international Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Earlier their collaboration resulted in research into President Petro Poroshenko's use of offshore companies.