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Court arrests main suspect in journalist's murder

He will be in custody at least until 8 February 2020.

Court arrests main suspect in journalist's murder


Kyiv's Pecherskyy district court has arrested musician and serviceman Andriy Antonenko (Riffmaster) for two months, until 8 February 2020.

He is the main suspect in the murder of popular Belarus-born journalist Pavel Sheremet in central Kyiv on 20 July 2016.

Speaking in court, he denied knowing who Sheremet was prior to his detention. On the eve of the murder, he was in Vorzel, a town in Kyiv's suburbs.

"I was in a sauna in Vorzel and later I was looking for a place for a concert," Antonenko said.

He was firm that the person on the video of suspected killers shown by investigators was not him. "Certainly, it is not me," he said.

Photo: Max Levin

Antonenko said that the allegations levelled against him are an insult to him and his family.

"I am a Jew, my grandfather is a Polish Jew. Your conclusions insult me and my family," he said, referring to the police conclusions that he was driven by "ultranationalist" views.

According to Antonenko, he did not know Yana Duhar, another suspect in the Sheremet case.

Photo: Max Levin

As reported earlier, investigators suspect serviceman and rock singer Andriy Antonenko (Riffmaster) of organising the murder of Pavel Sheremet. Police said he was fascinated by "ultranationalist ideas" and cultivated the "greatness of the Aryan race, division of society on ethnic grounds". According to police, the murder of Belarus-born Sheremet was to draw public attention to radical nationalist ideas.

Police also suspect him of involving volunteer medic and children's surgeion Yuliya Kuzmenko (Fox) and contract soldier Yana Duhar, as well as a number of unidentified persons, in his plan.

According to the investigation, it was Antonenko who directed the actions of the group members, distributed roles among them, bought ammunition, provided transporta and chose the time of the murder. Sheremet was watched for a long time by the suspects allegedly using wigs, sunglasses and replaceable clothes for disguise.

A few days before the crime, one of the suspects, Yana Duhar, allegedly came to Ivan Franko Street twice to establish where Sheremet was parking his car. Then, on the night of 20 July 2016, in the presence of Antonenko, Kuzmenko attached a home-made bomb to the bottom of the car. It was allegedly made using a hexogen explosive with components of a MON-50 anti-personnel mine and a remote-controlled electric detonator.

On the morning of that day, she waited for Sheremet to get into the car and drive up to the intersection, and set off the explosive device. As a result of the explosion, the journalist received serious injuries and died.

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