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Court of appeal leaves Sheremet murder suspect in custody

The decision cannot be appealed.

Court of appeal leaves Sheremet murder suspect in custody
Andriy Antonenko
Photo: Max Levin

The Kyiv court of appeal has left rock musician and serviceman Andriy Riffmaster Antonenko, who is suspected of killing Belarus-born journalist Pavel Sheremet in 2016, in custody, an correspondent has reported.

Thus, it upheld the ruling of Kyiv's Pecherskyy district court to arrest him at least until 8 February 2020.

A number of MPs and senior officers were ready to stand surety for Antonenko.

His lawyer Stanislav Kulyk said the court's ruling is ungrounded and unlawful.

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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