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High-Ranking Regional Official Suspected In Ukrainian Activist's Death

A Ukrainian Activist's Deathbed Plea
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WATCH: A Ukrainian Activist's Deathbed Plea

The head of Ukraine’s Kherson regional parliament is suspected of organizing the killing of anticorruption activist Kateryna Handzyuk last year, prosecutors say.

Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko wrote on Facebook on February 11 that Vladyslav Manher had been notified of the accusation against him.

Vladyslav Manher
Vladyslav Manher

According to a document posted by Lutsenko, Manher felt "personal enmity" toward Handzyuk because of her efforts to reveal "illegal deforestation" in the region.

Handzyuk, a 33-year-old civic activist and adviser to the mayor of the Black Sea port city of Kherson, died in November -- three months after she was severely injured in an acid attack.

Five suspects, including a police officer, have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack on Handzyuk.

Her death came amid a wave of attacks against Ukraine’s civic activists, with human rights activists claiming law enforcement agencies have failed to thoroughly investigate the cases and may even be complicit in some of the attacks.

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