A court has selected a pre-trial measure of restraint in the form of round-the-clock house arrest until 28 February for the secretary of the Kirovohrad diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP), Roman Kondratyuk, who is suspected of inciting religious hatred, Suspilne.Kropyvnytskyy has reported.
Prosecutor Hanna Melnykova requested house arrest because the suspect may hide from justice and influence witnesses. As a reason, she cited a possible three-year sentence if the guilt is proven.
Defence lawyer Serhiy Halushko replied that his client is cooperating with the investigation and is not hiding, he is the sole breadwinner for his wife, who is on maternity leave, and two children. The family rents an apartment. Kondratyuk has no previous convictions, has been feeling unwell for the past month and has a doctor's referral for hospitalisation. The lawyer asked the court to "show mercy and impose a personal recognizance as a measure of restraint".
Suspect Kondratyuk said he pleaded guilty.
"The position of secretary of the diocese obliges me to be in touch with the fathers and I am not going to influence anyone. On the contrary, I am trying to do everything to ensure that the investigation is conducted properly and I fully admit the guilt that I am charged with," he said.
At present, the lawyer and the suspect refused to comment on the court's decision. However, they have five days to file an appeal.