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Suspect In Sheremet's Killing In Ukraine Transferred To House Arrest


Yulia Kuzmenko at a court hearing in Kyiv in December

KYIV -- A court in Kyiv has ruled to transfer one of the suspects in the high-profile 2016 killing in the Ukrainian capital of journalist Pavel Sheremet from a detention center to house arrest.

The Kyiv Court of Appeals on August 11 ruled that Yulia Kuzmenko, a pediatric surgeon, who has been in pretrial detention since December, can be placed under round-the-clock house arrest.

Last month, the same court eased pretrial restrictions for another suspect in the high-profile case, a military paramedic, Yana Duhar.

The court agreed to lift curfew restrictions for Duhar and said that she no longer needed to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

The third suspect in the case, Andriy Antonenko, remains in a detention center.

Pavel Sheremet
Pavel Sheremet

Vladyslav and Inna Hryshchenko, a married couple who are suspected in another unrelated case, have been declared persons of interest in the case.

All five took part in military operations in different capacities in Ukraine's east, where government forces are fighting against Russia-backed separatists.

The Interior Ministry and the National Police said in December that the group's goal was "to destabilize the political and social situation in Ukraine" by killing Sheremet.

Sheremet, a Belarusian-born Russian citizen who had made Kyiv his permanent home, was leaving his apartment to head to the studio where he hosted a morning radio program when an improvised explosive device planted under his vehicle exploded on July 20, 2016, killing him.

Duhar, Antonenko, and Kuzmenko were arrested in December as suspects in the case.

Analysts said Sheremet's killing underscored concerns of a climate of impunity for attacks on journalists and others who challenge the authorities, while the government has faced persistent criticism over a perceived lack of progress in solving the case.

In January, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office said additional evidence was needed for the Sheremet murder case to go to trial.

Sheremet's mother, Lyudmila Sheremet, told RFE/RL in December that she does not know if the suspects are guilty or not, but that she is afraid "that innocent people may be hurt" as officials try to show they're making headway in the case.

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