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 Sheremet’s murder was thoroughly planned and organized, his Russian citizenship hinders investigation too, - Interior Ministry

Law enforcement agencies investigating the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet have so far made little progress.

Chief of Communications Department of Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs Artem Shevchenko said on the air of 112 Ukraine TV channel, Censor.NET reports.

According to him, Sheremet’s Russian citizenship brings much complexity to the investigation. In particular, Shevchenko was talking about those who Sheremet communicated with in the territory of the Russian Federation just before the murder – the runaway Ukraine’s ex-officials hiding in Russia.

"The investigators’ inability to study these contacts significantly drags out the probe," Shevchenko stressed.

He says the only sign of major breakthrough in this case would be a report that the murder is solved which is something that the police cannot yet pride themselves on. The crime was thoroughly planned and organized. The investigation of the case held by the National Police of Ukraine in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies is ongoing.

The prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed in a car bombing in downtown Kyiv on July 20, 2016. According to witnesses, the explosion occurred when Sheremet stopped at an exit to a main road.

Prosecutor General Lutsenko commented on the tragedy: "The death of Sheremet was due to an explosive device. It's a murder." Later, the Interior Ministry added a homemade shell-less explosive device was used, its power equivalent to 600 grams of TNT.

President Poroshenko met with the heads of Ukraine's law enforcement agencies, after which a special investigative group was set up under the leadership of Dekanoidze. Ukraine has invited FBI and Europolexperts to help in the probe. The Security Service considered the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine as a motive for Sheremet's murder. Meanwhile, Poroshenko asked for a transparent and prompt investigation: "Do not exclude any version. We'll not let anyone open a second front inside the country."

Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Sheremet was particularly critical of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko's crackdown on dissent. In 1997, the journalist was arrested while reporting about smuggling across the Belarus-Lithuanian border and sentenced to two years in prison - a move widely viewed as politically motivated. Amnesty International declared him prisoner of conscience.

In 1999, Sheremet was presented with the Committee to Protect Journalists' International Press Freedom Award. In 2002, he was presented with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Prize for Journalism and Democracy. For five years prior to the murder, Sheremet had lived in Kyiv, worked for Ukrainska Pravda and been a host at Vesti radio.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3077572