Man accused of murdering a Cherkasy journalist escapes house arrest – media
Volodymyr Voronkov, accused of murdering Cherkasy journalist Vasyl Serhienko, has escaped house arrest. The board of judges at the Horodyshchen District Court had chosen this measure of restraint for him in 2020.
18000 reports this, citing the Prosecutor General's Office.
According to the publication, Voronkov escaped the law enforcers' notice in 2022. He had already served a sentence for murder, and this case could earn him a life sentence.
The media outlet reminds that Cherkasy law enforcers detained Voronkov in 2015 while he attempted another crime. Other people allegedly complicit in the murder of Vasyl Serhienko, which happened on April 4, 2014, were with him at that time.
The case was tried by various judge panels in Cherkasy oblast for a long time before it was submitted to Kyiv in 2021. During this time, the court effectively released all the accused from custody: not only Voronkov, but also the alleged organizer of the murder, Vadym Melnyk, who is associated with the well-known Cherkasy businessman Hennadiy Bobov. It was the criticism of Bobov that could have been the motive for the crime committed by persons with close ties to his business structures.
Furthermore, the law enforcemers reported that two more defendants have been drafted into the UAF. These are the alleged organizer of the crime, Vadym Melnyk, and Viktor Horbenko, who, according to the investigation, is complivit in the abduction of the journalist, driving one of the cars used to transport the victim.
At one point, Horbenko tried to cooperate with the investigation; however, this information was disclosed during a court hearing by Horodyshchensky District Court judge Lyudmyla Synytsia. It was the panel chaired by Synytsia that chose a softer measure of restraint for the key figures – Melnyk and Voronkov, who had been behind bars the longest.
The capital's law enforcers also reported that in 2022, only six of the 15 scheduled hearings in this case, tried by the Darnytsky District Court of Kyiv collegium, took place. In 2023, they only had the time to hold a hearing accusing two defendants – Valentyn Zavrazhyn and Roman Nedybalyuk. The material regarding other persons has been divided into separate cases and their trials have been suspended due to two of them being drafted and one going missing.
The next hearing in the case can be held as early as March 17.
As reported by IMI, Volodymyr Voronkov, a suspect in the murder of journalist Vasyl Sergienko, was released from the Cherkasy pre-trial detention center in December 2020, following a ruling by the Horodyshchensky District Court of Cherkasy Oblast.
On April 4, 2014, journalist and public activist Vasyl Serhienko was kidnapped in Korsun-Shevchenkivsky, Cherkasy oblast, in next to his own house. A few days later, his body was found mutilated in a forest in the Korsun-Shevchenkivsky district.
On January 4, 2016, the Cherkasy Oblast Prosecutor's Office approved an indictment against four Kyiv residents for the abduction and murder of Vasyl Serhienko on the grounds of the pre-trial investigation, and submitted it to the court. Maksym Rusin, Volodymyr Voronkov, Viktor Horbenko, Valentin Zavrazhyn, Roman Nedybalyuk, as well as Vadym Melnyk were suspected of kidnapping and murdering Serhienko.
The Ukrainian investigation considers Vadym Melnyk to be the organizer of the murder. While Volodymyr Horbenko, Valentyn Zavrazhyn and Roman Nedybalyuk are accused of abduction, Volodymyr Voronkov is accused of murder.
None of them have pleaded guilty. In recent years, everyone was released for house arrest.
On September 15, 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favor of Vadym Melnyk, who is accused of organizing the murder of journalist Vasyl Serhienko. The court ruled that Ukraine should pay Melnyk EUR 10,000 as moral redress.
Oleh Sobchenko, a friend of Vasyl Serhienko, called the local agrarian oligarch Hennadiy Bobov the mastermind of the murder. The searches at the facilities affiliated with Bobov led to the discovery of automatic weapons from the Ministry of Internal Affairs stock, which had been given to titushkas on February 20, 2014, after the Maidan shooting, when the final purge of protesters was supposed to take place.
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