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Suspect Arrested In Ukrainian Activist Lawyer's Murder


Yuriy Rossoshanskyy appears in a Kyiv court on January 9, where he was accused of murdering lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska.

A Ukrainian court has arrested a suspect in the killing of activist lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska that sparked public outrage and underscored concerns about the justice system in Ukraine.

The Kyiv region's Vyshhorod district court on January 9 placed Yuriy Rossoshanskyy, 64, in custody for 60 days without the possibility of bail.

During the hearing, Rossoshanskyy admitted to the slaying and said that nobody exerted pressure on him to commit the crime.

He is the father of Dmytro Rossoshanskyy, who was convicted of causing the death of Nozdrovska's sister when he hit her with his car while driving drunk in 2015.

On January 8, a week after Nozdrovska was found dead, police announced the detention of a suspect, who was not named at the time.

Mourners weep on the coffin carrying Iryna Nozdrovska in her hometown of Demydiv on January 9.
Mourners weep on the coffin carrying Iryna Nozdrovska in her hometown of Demydiv on January 9.

The court's order came after mourners paid their last respects to Nozdrovska, who was buried next to her sister, Svitlana Sapatanyska.

People placed flowers in the yard outside Nozdrovska's family home in Demydiv, a village in the Kyiv region, before she was laid to rest at a local cemetery on January 9.

Nozdrovska disappeared on December 29, after she helped ensure that the man convicted of causing the death of her sister was not released from prison.

The 38-year-old lawyer's body was found in a river not far from Demydiv on January 1, and police later said she died of multiple stab wounds.

Nozdrovska had been the target of threats for her efforts in the case of Dmytro Rossoshanskyy, the nephew of a district judge in the Kyiv region.

On December 27, amid efforts by Nozdrovska to raise public awareness about the case, judges rejected an appeal by Rossoshanskyy to overturn his seven-year prison sentence.

Iryna Nozdrovska had been the target of threats.
Iryna Nozdrovska had been the target of threats.

Ukrainian lawmaker Mustafa Nayyem wrote on Facebook on January 1 that Rossoshanskyy's father had threatened Nozdrovska at the December 27 hearing, warning her that she would "end up badly."

Activists say suspects who are relatives of officials often avoid prosecution or conviction or are released early -- a result of corruption that Western officials say harms the economy and hurts Ukraine's chances of throwing off Russian influence.

Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, after a military occupation, and Moscow backs separatists whose war against government forces has killed more than 10,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

With reporting by AFP, Interfax, Ukrayinska Pravda, and