UARU
Wife of Ex-FM Leonid Kozhara Confessed to Manslaughter - Lawyer
26 March, 2020
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The Kyiv region police reported the death of a man who was visiting the house of the former foreign minister Leonid Kozhara in Mykola Azarov’s government just outside Kyiv on February 23. Leonid Kozhara / Facebook

The lawyers of former Ukrainian foreign minister Leonid Kozhara, suspected of murdering the former head of Inter TV channel Serhiy Starytskyi, claim that Kozhara’s wife confessed to the crime, which was an accident.

This was stated by Kozhara's lawyers during a sitting in the Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv.

Kozhara's defender says that on March 19, his wife, Maryna Kozerod, filed a statement with the police and prosecutor's office about confessing to a criminal offense, which was a fortuitous event, that was beyond her control. She made the same statement to the prosecutor's office on March 25. At the same time, the prosecutor's office said that the police had not yet received this statement.

READ MORE: Ex-Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kozhara Arrested on Murder Charges

The Kyiv region police reported the death of a man who was visiting the house of the former foreign minister in Mykola Azarov’s government just outside Kyiv on February 23. Starytskyi had gunshot wounds to his head, according to the police press service.

Media Detector reported that Starytskyi was the former head of Inter TV channel, CEO of Tonis TV Company and one of the owners of Atlantic Group Advertising Holding.

Kozhara held the post of Foreign Minister in Mykola Azarov's government under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych in 2012-2014.

The lawyer read part of the statement by Kozerod, which stated that Kozhara and Starytskyi were resting together at Kozhara's house and drinking alcohol on the day Starytskyi was shot. According to her, "the atmosphere was relaxed" and there were no grounds for the conflict. She asserts that there have always been friendly relations between the men.

Also, according to a lawyer of the former minister, Kozerod said that on the evening of February 21, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., Starytskyi was allegedly in a state of heavy intoxication and was holding a gun in his right hand. At that moment, according to his wife, Kozhara was on the first floor of the house.

The lawyer did not read the statement through to the end, but noted that Kozerod later "tried to take the gun" from Starytskyi.

READ MORE: Former Inter TV Channel Head Found Dead in Ex-Minister’s House

The defense also said that earlier Kozerod had filed statements asking her to carry out investigative actions with her involvement and said she could reconstruct how Starytskyi was wounded.

At the same time, the prosecutor and a representative of Starytskyi's family noted that this wording only indicated that she was merely a witness and did not admit her guilt.

According to the same investigation, it was Kozhara who fired the shot that killed Starytskyi. The prosecutor claims that the theory of the involvement of the suspect's wife was checked, but no evidence was found.