Sheremet Murder. Where the Prosecutor is Lying. Brief Fact Check

Complete and dry fact check on official information from the materials of the pre-trial investigation and speeches in court. Without unnecessary references to the media and speculations. Exclusively according to information from the court.

This article is an official press release from Mr. Antonenko's defense council. Ready to provide more detailed transcripts and case materials. Any documents will be open to anyone except with certain restrictions, solely to protect the privacy of third parties. 

General information

Pavlo [Ukrainian spelling of “Pavel”] Sheremet, a Russian citizen, a journalist well-known in professional quarters, a host of Radio Vesti, died on the morning of July 20, 2016 from the explosion of a bomb planted under the car.

On December 12, 2019, musician Andriy Antonenko, military nurse Yana Duhar and pediatric surgeon Yulia Kuzmenko were arrested on suspicion of murder. Minister Avakov announced the arrests on Twitter at 3:26 p.m., when the prosecutor had not even applied to the court in this regard (draw protocol dated 12/12/2019 16:14:51 regarding Antonenko, draw protocol dated 16:22:36 regarding Kuzmenko). 

The successful solution of the crime and the arrest of the alleged killers on the same day, before the judge made the arrest judgement, was announced at a briefing with the participation of the President of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko were accused of planting explosives, and Mrs. Duhar was accused of reconnoiter (photographing street cameras) a few days before. A Nazi motive was declared, exactly copy-pasted from another case; however, there is no information about the suspects’ connection with Nazi or extremist organizations or special sercet services. The only evidence announced was gait analysis, for Yana Duhar — also facial recognition on video from a camera located at the crime scene neighborhood.

On December 13 and 14, the suspects were remanded in custody: Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko were detained, and Yana Duhar was placed under 24-hour house arrest. Later, Yana Duhar’s house arrest was replaced by night arrest, and later – on bail of ₴168,150 (~€5000). In August, Yulia Kuzmenko’s detention was changed to round-the-clock house arrest. Andriy Antonenko is still in custody.

The pre-trial investigation was completed on May 22, and the trial began on August 19. According to the final indictment, Mr. Antonenko was not the organizer and did not produce the explosive, it was assembled by unidentified individuals who intended to destabilize the political situation, and the defendants were allegedly hired on a voluntary basis “from among civil volunteers and the military” because of their “low willpower” and “propensity to violence “. The “Nazi” motive was eventually rejected by the prosecution. The only direct “exposing evidence” still remained the gait analysis, comparing the videos of the bomb planting.

Defenders of Andriy Antonenko and Yulia Kuzmenko appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in May-June 2020 alleging violations of their rights to liberty and the presumption of innocence. The status of the applications is still unknown. Case numbers №23002 / 20 (Kuzmenko v. Ukraine) №29341 / 20 (Antonenko v. Ukraine).

Contrary to the requirements of the law on the continuity of court proceedings, jury trials were held twice a month, and from October 21 to December 10 the break was almost 2 months. As of December 12, 2020, one year after the arrest, the court had not considered any evidence of the accusation, de facto performing only the formal function of periodically extending pre-trial detention. It would be appropriate to recall that Article 322 of the CPC of Ukraine requires continuity in the consideration of cases, and part 4 of Article 28 of the CPC of Ukraine requires that the consideration of cases where the accused is in custody take place immediately and without delay.

As of April 2021, in almost eight months of the trial and after 500 days of Mr. Antonenko’s imprisonment, the court had examined only 7 volumes of the 28 documents filed by the prosecution.

Official information

However, during this time, one important event took place in court — the opening speeches of the prosecution and the defense. In fact, this is the first official statement of the vision of the facts by the parties and the evidence that was heard in the process.

Despite statements of the prosecution public speakers, the defense has not found any piece of evidence in the pre-trial investigation that had not previously been declared by law enforcement, but has discovered official evidence of non-involvement, the complete absence of some previously announced evidence, and serious discrepancies, forged documents and forensic opinions. There is no direct evidence, except for examinations of the gait. None of the witnesses indicated the involvement of the defendants in the murder. There is still no evidence of motive, connections with secret services or extremists, the existence of one control center, acquaintance of the defendants with each other. It will be recalled that in accordance with the requirements of Article 290 of the CPC of Ukraine, the prosecutor has no right to provide evidence that has not been disclosed to the defense, so sensations should not be expected.

So, for those who are interested in the course of events, we present the current arguments and facts stated by the prosecutor in the process, briefly and dryly. 

We did not ignore any argument of the prosecutor that was heard in court.

From what will be stated below, it is clear that in the voiced prosecutor’s speech, if we do not take into account the event of the crime and the time of the explosion, there is not a single word of pure truth without distorting and concealing information.

Terminology and labels used

🤞 Manipulation is formally true information, but presented in such a way as to mislead a consumer, for example by concealing some information or incorrect emphasis, or presenting irrelevant, i.e. of-no-matter, information. Manipulation is usually intended for an inattentive, ignorant or biased audience. 

🪲 Insinuation is inaccurate or slightly distorted information in order to create the illusion of authenticity of evidence of guilt or a negative impression of the defendants (recall that the law explicitly prohibits the use of the characteristics of the accused and even other crimes as evidence of his guilt). 

🤥 Misinformation is a direct and deliberate lie that can be refuted by evidence and facts.

Proof links. Text links are marked with 📰, video links are marked with 📽️. Please click these links for more detailed explanations and to observe evidence from official sources.

What the prosecutor says and where he is lying

🤥🤞 Plenty of resources and efforts have been expended to investigate the crime. The FBI participated in the investigation, serious investigative experiments were conducted with explosives. A large number of police officers were involved, and a huge number of investigative actions were performed. From the first days the investigation was carried out carefully and professionally.📽️ 📰

This is a manipulation designed to create false credibility in the results of the investigation. In fact, due to the negligence of the police, the evidence at the crime scene was destroyed, as a result of which the type of explosive and the executive mechanism could not be identified, important witnesses and videos were lost. The police have also not interviewed or investigated persons identified by journalists at the crime scene who may be witnesses or even involved including members of the security services.📽️ 📰. 

🤥🤞Carefully studied hypotheses of the probable motive for the crime led to the fact that all versions of the motive, except those mentioned in the indictment, were reasonably rejected. 📽️ 📰

This statement is a lie. There is no objective refutation of any other versions in the casefile. No connection exists between the defendants and Pavlo Sheremet.  All information about other versions was concealed by classifying it, so this statement is not supported by anything. The prosecutor has no right to operate such stories without providing any evidence.📽️ 📰

🤥 The elements of the MON-50 mine found at the site of the explosion are the detonator, the fusion well bushing and magnets. 📽️ 📰

This statement is a lie — the detonator and magnets are not elements of a MON-50 mine. 📽️ 📰

🪲 It was established that Pavlo Sheremet died as a result of detonation of an explosive device produced by “on the basis” of the mine MON-50.📽️ 📰

In fact, the explosive device was probably shellless and contained only two items that could have originated from an MON-50 —  the roller fragments and a bushing, but this is not conclusive that they originated from such a mine. The prosecutor was deceitful as other possible origins of these elements were not mentioned at all. 📽️ 📰.

🤥🤞 During the examination, an investigative experiment was conducted, during which two cars were exploded by MON-50 mines. Holes formed are identical to the one in the Subaru car in which the journalist died. So, he was also blown up by a “MON-50 mine”.📽️ 📰

In fact, there was an expert experiment performed (not an “investigative” experiment, as the prosecutor called it because of his bad faith or ignorance)  during which six explosions, not two were carried out. Experts immediately rejected the version with the MON-50 mine, as far as they found that the charge was not shaped, as in mines of such type, and not as powerful; the most probable (and confirmed by explosion №5, from where the prosecutor actually borrowed the picture) is the assumption that the charge was shellless with a capacity twice less than the charge of MON-50 (other explosive substances were not studied during the experiments). The prosecutor’s statement about the “identity” and similarity of holes caused by any explosion seems completely insane. Uninformed people may think that the device can be identified by the size and shape of the hole remaining after an explosion, but in fact only the energy of the explosion can be estimated from the hole or funnel, not the substance or type of device.

🤥🤞 Experts found that 478.4 g of RDX (in TNT equivalent) was applied for the explosion 📽️ 📰

This is a falsehood. The type of explosive has not been established. Indeed, the approximate power of the explosion was estimated in equivalent, but no RDX was found. The word “hexogen” (RDX) is mentioned in the forensic opinion, but there was no RDX discovered. This statement is clearly designed to deceive the jury by suggesting that the explosive can only be from a MON-50 and thus linking the explosion to Antonenko 📽️ 📰

🤥 🤞Street cameras recorded a “scout” who, on July 15 and 18, 2016, suspiciously walked near the victim’s car and recorded video surveillance cameras on her phone.📽️ 📰 

Any “scout” was never recorded by the camera “near the victim’s car”. At least such videos do not exist in the casefile, and footage from another street is shown in court. “Suspicious gait” is not a legal term and has no place in a court of law. The fact of photographing is an assumption that concerns only one camera. Moreover this was the only one under which the offenders passed by without hiding. This could show that the scout and the murderers were not in fact linked, that the killers intended that they should be seen or that no camera was in fact photographed. None of these possibilities appeared to have been explored, only the one that suited the police hypothesis.  📽️

🤞Street cameras recorded a man and a woman who at 02:41 a.m. on July 20, 2016, approached  the victim’s car and the woman planted something under it.📽️ 📰

It looks like these people are really likely to be involved in the murder. However, this is not necessarily a man and a woman, the beard and manners of a “man” could be a sham, at least there is no reason to reject it. The conditional “man”, despite the prosecutor’s statement, did not approach the car at all, and the “woman” is seen squatting only, not “planting” anything. 

🤥🪲 The offender in the video has typical clothes with a pattern on the back; the defendant Antonenko during the search “turned out to possess similar sweaters with the appropriate image”.📽️ 📰

This statement is not true. Similar sweaters and similar drawings on clothing were not found. During the search, only clothes with some patterns were seized. This is also deceit by the prosecution as no item of Mr. Antonenko’s clothing has been presented as material evidence and thus nothing about an “appropriate image” worn by Mr Antonenko should be considered in court as evidence. The prosecutor tries falsely to tie clothing worn by the murderer to Mr. Antonenko but with absolutely no evidence of such. A forensic examination was conducted but the result of this has been concealed from the defense and the court.

🤞 The“man and woman” recorded on the cameras were identified by experts as defendants Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko, in particular the gait resemblance was spotted by British expert Ivan Birch 📽️ 📰

The examination was comprehensive. The portrait examination found the identification impossible. A psychological examination noted that the persons had “congruent markers of signs of nonverbal behavior”, although later the chairman of the expert commission Mr. Irkhin stated that the psychological analysis did not identify anyone and its use as evidence is a mystery for him. 📽️ 📰

The English original text by British gait expert Ivan Birch is missing. The expert signed the Ukrainian text with the words “sufficient evidence” (for Antonenko) and “conditionally sufficient” (for Kuzmenko), but the recognised equivalent of such a statement is missing. The scientifically and academically accepted scale of confidence – weak, moderate, moderately strong, strong, very strong, extremely strong which has a mathematical basis of probability has not been used. See, for example, the ENFSI standard, p. 17, Primer for Courts, p.24]. Thus the court has no recognisable way of judging the quality and strength of evidence of Mr Birch. In short his evidence has no more value to the court than guesswork.

Scotland Yard has officially explained to Mr Antonenko’s defenders that gait analysis should be used only as supportive evidence to other hard evidence. A defined methodology does not exist that should be used solely for a conviction. The expertise is subjective in nature and is based purely on extensive study and experience not fact. 

All experts compared the criminals with the reference videos, allegedly filmed by ССTV in “Novus” supermarkets on October 9, 2019. However, the only evidence that they depict Antonenko and Kuzmenko are of covert surveillance reports saying that Antonenko and Kuzmenko visited those supermarkets at about the same time and day. However, the main thing is that the originals of these video files are missing in the case. There are only copies with other dates of last edits. (Some of those that the prosecutor tries to sell as “originals” are named K_YULIA, does the “Novus” supermarket know the names of all its visitors?). 

And after all, a human’s gait is not unique, and the error rate, according to Birch himself, is at best 29%. 📽️ 📰

🤥🪲 After being notified of suspicion [notice of suspicion in Ukrainian criminal procedure is a written official pre-trial indictment] on December 12, 2019, all three defendants rushed to hide material evidence. Mr. Antonenko hid his own phone and the hollow shell of a mine, Mrs. Kuzmenko – the password from the iPhone 6, which she used in 2016, Mrs. Duhar – a sapper bag and seven phones.📽️ 📰

This statement is a lie in the case of all three suspects. Mr Antonenko did ask his brother-in-law to hide the MON-50 case and testified this during interrogation, however this act happened before not after he was notified of suspicion. About hiding the phone — this is also a falsehood. Mr Antonenko did not hide it, but during his arrest put it on the hood of his car. The investigators simply forgot about it and left it there. “Hiding the phone” is not reflected in the original police protocol. The contents of the phone were later fully disclosed to the prosecution. 

Yana Duhar did not hide any sapper bag and seven phones. These items were not found during the police search. A month before her arrest, she told her friend (in connection with the Hryshchenko case) that if she had been searched, she might have got awkward questions 📽️ . Her acquaintance, a sapper, had left his bag at her house and later took it away. This bag is a legal and completely safe item, available for free sale. It is a lie that this happened after Yana was notified of the suspicion, it was a month earlier

The demonstration of a slide of a sapper’s bag in the court (📽️ 📰) was a direct and deceitful attempt to suggest that the bag shown was material evidence seized from Yana Duhar after attempts to hide it and to link her to it as if it was a criminal act. In fact, the photo shown in court was borrowed from a Russian flea market site. 📽️

Considering Yulia Kuzmenko’s old iPhone 6, the password from it was broken by the police and the content analyzed by the prosecution. It turns out the phone had not been used since March 2016 and thus could not contain any data in favor of the prosecution. Forgetting a 4-year-old password cannot in any way be construed as evidence of involvement in a murder.

In all cases the material evidence turns out to be not so but the prosecutor uses these apparent acts falsely to try to establish some form of guilt. 

🪲 Attempts to hide the MON-50 case are proof of Mr. Antonenko’s guilt.📽️ 📰

Again the prosecutor uses insinuation to suggest guilt. The empty case of the MON-50 mine was presented to Mr. Antonenko as a gift in the same state that it was found with no explosives inside. It was also given to him with a hole in the case, a point confirmed by witnesses. It does contain both the fuse well bushings and all the 485 roller fragments. It means the fragments and bushing from the crime scene – the only pieces of material evidence pointing to a MON-50 – can not be parts of or originate from Antonenko’s souvenir. Thus there is nothing that can relate this particular MON-50 with the weapon used in the Pavlo Sheremet murder because only mentioned elements could originate from a MON-50. Mr. Antonenko was not aware of details of the crime instrument and thus was worried about some occasional coincidence. But a real culprit knew all the details and had nothing to worry about so he would not hide anything. 📽️ 📰

If Mr.Antonenko was guilty he would not need to hide the MON because he would know that there are no parts in it or explosives relevant to the case. Only a truly innocent person would act such fearing a miscarriage of justice from a corrupt system. He was proven totally right. The MON was used to put him in jail despite its irrelevance to the case.

🤥🪲 Proof of Mr. Antonenko’s guilt is an abnormal hole in the case of the MON-50 mine, which  proves his intention to saw off half of this case later. This object is connected with the murder due to the fact that half of the MON-50 mine was the instrument of the crime. 📽️ 📰

This theory has no legal or evidential logic at all. It is not even common sense. It does not bear comment apart from the fact that to offer it to a court as evidence demeans the whole legal profession. It is worth looking at its genealogy. 📽️ 📰 

🤥 An inspection of Antonenko’s telephone connections revealed that his telephone number in the period from 9 pm 19.07 to 10 am 20.07 was recorded at the place of residence and was inactive, which is not typical. Similarly, in the period from 8:16 pm 19.07 to 9:19 am 20.07 the mobile phone used by Kuzmenko was not active, which is also not typical for her.📽️ 📰

In his opening speech, the prosecutor made some mistakes regarding the times of phone connections in contrast to the times given in his own materials. In fact, on the eve of Sheremets death, the last activity of Mr. Antonenko’s phone was 11:24 pm not 9 pm as stated. Mrs. Kuzmenko 7:45 pm not as stated. The first activity of Mr. Antonenko’s phone the next day was 7:23 am not 10:00 am. The prosecutor tried to suggest that both defendants had abnormal phone behaviour and that this was probably because they were in fact somehow involved in murder at those times. In fact this proves nothing even if it was true. But it was not. It was an allegation made with expectation that nobody will check it. It turned out to be a pure fake. On reflection it appears that activity of the phone connections of both the defendants was completely typical compared to other days of the year. 📽️ 📰

🤥🪲🤞The defendants were acquainted with each other at the time of the murder, because in 2016 there were many telephone connections, correspondence on Facebook, as well as GPRS connections between Mrs. Kuzmenko and Mr. Antonenko. This refutes their testimony that they were not acquainted. 📽️ 📰

This argument can only be about the acquaintance between Mrs. Kuzmenko and Mr. Antonenko only.  Neither knew Yana Duhar then. These two defendants knew each other only virtually on Facebook and first met in real life on July 21, 2016 the day after the murder, during a concert. They then became friends. Their correspondence on Facebook by that time was fully published and does not look like the correspondence of accomplices. This is what they stated during interrogations and did not change their testimony. 

At the court hearing, the prosecutor showed manipulative statistics of their communications not before the death of Pavel Sheremet, but during the whole of 2016, before and after the murder to make it look intensive. In fact, the communication in 2016 before the murder was extremely sparce. To falsify the stats the prosecutor added bizzare figure of GPRS connections” meaning that Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko sometimes were on the Internet simultaneously. 📽️ 📰

🤞 The acquaintance between Mrs. Kuzmenko and Mr. Antonenko in 2016 is confirmed by the acquaintance between Mr. Antonenko and Mr. Kian at the time.

This is pure manipulation. Mr. Kian, the current husband and at the time Yulia Kuzmenko’s lover, is not accused of anything. Any communication with Mr. Antonenko cannot be used to prove acquaintance with Mrs. Kuzmenko.

🤥 On January 4, 2020, Mr. Antonenko, while in prison, logged in his VKontakte profile, probably for the purpose of destroying evidence.📽️ 📰

This again is a deceitful comment to the court trying to suggest the accused did something significant for the case but without having any evidence. A screenshot showing that someone visited the page is provided by the prosecutor for confirmation. However electronic devices are prohibited in the isolator and Mr Antonenko could not access the Internet from there.  Mr. Antonenko’s solicitors logged onto his VKontakte profile on January 4, 2020. This was publicly announced. This later inspired the prosecution to search the defense team. The prosecution used the fact of the log-in and justified the search to obtain a warrant to search the home of Mr. Maslov, a defense specialist who also saw Antonenko’s profile together with his defense attorneys and who wrote about it later on Facebook. The defense now has a warrant from the investigating judge, which states from the investigators’ submission that it was Mr. Maslov and not Mr. Antonenko who was logged into the VKontakte account on January 4, 2020. The contents of this account were later disclosed to the prosecution. Its copy is publicly available. On the VKontakte account as in other profiles of Mr. Antonenko, Mrs. Duhar or Mrs. Kuzmenko, there is no single hint of a crime or of any preparation or extremism. 

Thus the prosecutor was again aiming to deceive the court as he knew all this before making these false suggestions. 

🪲 In 2017, Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko talked on Facebook about a murder. The fact that during the correspondence Antonenko stated that Facebook Messenger is not a suitable place for discussion, according to the prosecutor, indicates a conspiracy.📽️ 📰

This conversation took place but discussed the resonant detention of officers of the 8th Special Forces Regiment in 2017. Mr. Antonenko did not believe they were guilty, and Mrs. Kuzmenko convinced him otherwise. 📽️ 📰,

The prosecutor said that they stopped the discussion in Facebook for fear that “law enforcement will wiretap it in the prescribed manner”.  Such a comment was an explicit hint that ordinary people who are not criminals would never postpone an important discussion till a personal meeting. Because only criminals are afraid of wiretapping. This is not true and manipulative for two reasons. 

1) Most of us sometimes want to discuss important matters in a personal meeting. Anyone’s desire for privacy is normal and not always related to fear of law enforcement.

2) Everybody knows that law enforcement in Ukraine misuse their authority and violate privacy not only of criminals. This case also proves it. There are some carelessly disclosed warrant applications in this murder case where police retrieved private data of politicians and public activists unrelated to the case al all.

🪲2016 Mrs. Kuzmenko and Mr. Antonenko have joint photos (dated after 21.07.2016). Evidence against Mrs. Kuzmenko is the fact that after the news of Pavlo Sheremet’s murder appeared, she searched Google for who he was.📽️ 📰

This is not evidence of any fact of involvement in murder. In fact if anything this exonerates Ms Kuzmenko who if she was involved would know all about Mr Sheremet already and would have done this before the murder not after.  

🤥🪲 In 2019, Yulia Kuzmenko planned to shell Kyiv with Grad [multiple rocket launcher]  and kidnap Marusya Zvirobiy children to create chaos in the country. This proves the motive for the murder of Pavlo Sheremet.📽️ 📰

This statement has no evidential linkage from which the prosecutor can produce this conclusion. Phone kitchen-chats are commonplace and have the nature of fantasies. This has been confirmed by experts from the prosecution. 

Two other things are more important. First, if you analyze the content of conversations, Yulia Kuzmenko is not the author of these ideas and does not support any of them. She quite passively listens to her interlocutors, who are the actual sources of the suggestions. One of these  suggestions was not kidnapping children of Marusya Zvirobiy, who is Yulia Kuzmenko’s friend, but a simulation of such kidnapping. Mrs. Kuzmenko did not approve of this idea even as a joke. Secondly, warrants for this “wiretapping” were not lawfully disclosed for the defence council thus it cannot be produced by the prosecutor as evidence. Even if it could be, the conversations are irrelevant to the case (Pavlo Sheremet was killed not by Grad and has nothing to do with Marusya Zvirobiy’s kids). On the other side character evidence is inadmissible according to Article 88 of the CPC of Ukraine.

🤥 A geotag found in Yulia Kuzmenko’s iPhone XS Max, which indicates that on July 19, at 3:56 am, she was near the crime scene, which is suspicious and contradicts her testimony that she was at home, on the Urlivska street (the other bank of the Dnieper).📽️ 📰 

XS Max iPhone model was released in September 2018 so the phone itself could not record its locations in 2016. Allegedly the so-called geotag was found not in the phone but in some cloud database. But this database also contains some locations with timestamps before 2007 as well as of 2020, i.e. before iPhone and after Yulia Kuzmenko’s arrest and phone seizure. All the timestamps in the relevant table are probably the moments of updating the point of interest on Apple maps (California time zone UTC-8). 

But the hard fact is that the geotag timestamp indicates not the moment of the crime (20.07.2016 2:40 a.m.), but a day earlier. The place is a sporting goods store (2 km away from the crime scene). The prosecutor “forgot” to mention both these issues.

Data from telephone connections confirm that Mrs. Kuzmenko’s phone was at home at the time (both time of the crime and day before, of the geotag), as she actually testified during the interrogation. 📽️ 📰 

🤥🪲🤞 Antonenko refused to attend an investigative experiment and to pass an examination using a polygraph. Kuzmenko refused to undergo a polygraph and a simultaneous interrogation with Antonenko. Duhar refused a polygraph, a forensic psychiatric examination, and height measurements.📽️ 📰

Most of the above comments are not true. Antonenko did not refuse the investigative experiment. This was disrupted by the course of the investigation. The investigation did not make repeated attempts to conduct it. Antonenko did not refuse a polygraph, although he demanded that he be given the choice of a polygraph examiner.📽️ 📰 

Antonenko is currently prevented from passing the polygraph only by his imprisonment.

Yulia Kuzmenko also agreed to a polygraph, but when she learned that it would be conducted by Irkhin, the “psycho-gait” examiner, who she had strong cause not to trust, she refused. It’s true that she refuted the simultaneous interrogation with Mr.Antonenko because there was no contradictions in their testimonies.   

Yana Duhar underwent a polygraph, which confirmed the veracity of her testimony.  Yana Duhar also did not refuse “height measurements”.

🤥🪲 The defendants are closely connected with the Hryshchenko family, who in turn are charged of a similar crime – the attempted murder of businessman Chekurak in Ivano-Frankivsk region, where they used an explosive device similar to the one that killed Pavlo Sheremet. 📽️ 📰

This statement of the prosecutor is also deliberately false. In 2016, none of the defendants knew who the Hryshchenkos were. The case of the attempt on Chekurak for which they are accused is extremely doubtful as linked evidence. No evidence has been produced by the prosecution to the defence linking this case with Sheremet. Thus it should not be mentioned in evidence at all in court as it has no legal or evidential relevance. Mrs Hryshchenko was not even interrogated as a witness for this case. Additionally there are no common features between explosive devices, except for the presence of magnets which are historically normal in car bomb attempts of this kind. The magnets incidentally are also different. 

Antonenko is not acquainted with Vlad Hrishchenko but once took a selfie with Inna which is commonplace for a successful musician and thus can signify nothing specific for this case. 📽️ 📰

🤞🤥 In different years, Mr. Antonenko had a different beard, which refutes the assertion of the defense, they say, on July 20, 2016, he had a beard of a different shape.📽️ 📰

It does not matter what kind of beard Mr. Antonenko wore in different years, but what beard he had between July 19 and 21, 2016. For these dates, photos are available, and the beard is not like the one that the offender has in the video. The prosecutor deceitfully showed a photo from 2012 in court, signing it as “2016”. 📽️ 📰 

🤥 Yana Duhar’s alibi is refuted by the testimony of 50 servicemen.📽️ 📰

This statement is a lie. Yana Duhar’s alibi is confirmed by five people whose testimonies have not been refuted. 

The prosecution questioned 223 servicemen, not 50 (see the list of witnesses from №40). The fact that most of them do not remember Mrs. Duhar, and in some places even the hospital where they were, does not disprove the alibi. Some witnesses even testified that because of workload she was unable to leave her place of work at the time. 

🤥🪲🤞Yana Duhar often went AWOL and was able to mislead people because she once did not confess to the military police that she was military.📽️ 📰

The commanders of Yana Duhar confirmed that she never went AWOL. The reason for the manipulations was that in 2018-2019 the authorities gave her leave for studies by oral order and without written confirmation (this is apparently a common practice). As for the events of 2016, she could not leave the hospital on the front line in Pokrovsk. There was a tense period there, as many wounded arrived and even a short-term absence would be noticed by colleagues. She was 687 km away from Kyiv and tired. She would have needed to be away for a considerable time not just “slipping away” to be a fresh looking “scout”.  The prosecutor showed conversations in court that made many people smile. In them Ms Duhar says that in a hurry to classes at the institute, being in civilian clothes and to avoid unnecessary questions, she deceived a military policeman. This can hardly be considered as evidence of complicity in a murder. As already noted the use of suggested characteristics as evidence is prohibited by law.

🤥🪲🤞 Yana Duhar forged entries in four medical records in July 2016, because she actually performed them later (retrospectively) in November 2016. 📽️ 📰

This is an insinuation based on two ink aging examinations on documents. The first alleges that one entry (not four) “novocaine / (-) care m / s Duhar” on one medical card of an inpatient №1499 was made by Yana Duhar, but later in November 2016. Another expert opinion on the same document states that this inscription was made before November 2019. If we reject the reasoning about the error of research methods, manipulation of reference ink samples and believe these opinions, the record was made between 01.12.2016 and 01.11.2019. Therefore, this information is completely irrelevant, i.e. it has nothing to do with the subject of proof and in no way refutes the fact that Yana Duhar was at the place of service all July 2016. The defense never referred to this document and did not try to prove anything by it. If Yana Duhar even really made it after December 1, 2016, it cannot be considered as fake —  it is her own signature and her own action. And the second examination of the prosecution unequivocally confirms that the recording was made before the suspicion was notified, i.e. there was no intentional distortion of evidence after the arrest. 

🪲🤞During the search in the military unit of Yana Duhar, the book “Military Reconnaissance” and the brochure “Reconnaissance and Scouting Measures” were seized (given in the section “Characteristics of the Defendants”). 📽️ 📰

It is natural and right that every soldier should have these books. However, they were confiscated not from Yana Duhar, but from the staff-room military hospital. They are training manuals for soldiers and sergeants of the army and do not belong to covert activities and operational intelligence similar to camera photography. 📽️ This again the prosecutor is trying to create a false impression of Duhar being involved in a murder but without any proper evidence.

What the prosecutor wrote but did not say

The prosecutor filed a written version of his speech, which differs in part from his speech. In particular, it reads (p. 4) as follows:

  • In addition, the TV channel “Channel 4” covered an interview with a citizen Yermilov O.S., who categorically confirmed the fact of Antonenko’s stayed in his house in Vorzel at night from 19 to 20.07.2016. However, during the interrogation as a witness Yermilov OS confused in his testimony and as a result suggested that he had made a mistake in the dates and himself refuted his allegation that Antonenko was at his home that night.

This is recorded in a written document, although it was not heard in court. The defense has repeatedly stated that Antonenko himself never supported the version of Yermilov’s events, and  stated that at the very first interrogation. Defense attorneys questioned Mr. Yermilov three weeks earlier than investigators and found that he was reporting false information.

On p. 5-6 The prosecutor noted:

  • As for the “indisputable”, in the opinion of the defense, proof of the innocence of the defendants – it is their height. Defendants, trying to persuade the public to their conclusions, portrayed both in court and on social media a demonstration of measuring the defendants and comparing them with the persons depicted in the video. At the same time, the defenders limited themselves to public appeals, not involving experts, as provided by the criminal procedure legislation, turning to dubious experts.
  • Instead, at the stage of the pre-trial investigation in the mentioned proceedings, measures were constantly taken to establish all the circumstances relevant to the proceedings. Thus, in August 2016, experts of the Kyiv City Research Forensic Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine conducted a photographic examination, which established the height of the accused [alleged suspects] in the explosive device [planting]: a man 172 cm + -5.16 cm (166.84 – 177.16 cm) women 166.5 cm + – 4.98 cm (161.4 – 171.4 cm). On February 28, 2020, the Habitological [habitoscopic] examination at the Kyiv City Clinical Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination measured Antonenko, whose height is 179.7 cm (difference is 2 centimeters only), Kuzmenko – 166 cm.
  • The defendant Duhar refused to take measurements, but her lawyers posted photo on the Facebook social network, in which her height is 174-175 cm. It should be noted that in September 2019, experts of the Kyiv City Research Forensic Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine found that the height of a female scout is 167-174 cm.

Defender Kruhovyi carefully explained why the height examinations completely prove Mr. Antonenko’s non-involvement. 📽️ 📰

Regarding Yana Duhar’s height, the prosecutor resorted to petty trickery, recording “174-175 cm”, although the photo actually shows a height of at least 175 cm without shoes. The height of the “scout” according to examinations does not exceed 174 cm in footwear (more precisely, one conclusion gives the upper limit of 174.4, the second – 171.4, so you should take the minimum of them – 171.4 cm).  

What is not in the case, but was pronounced by the prosecutor.

  • Despite the allegations about the legality of Ivan Birch’s involvement, the case lacks the English original of his opinion, data on the translation or translator, a document on his involvement, as well as payment for his services (which should be funded from the State Budget).
  • There is no information in the casefile about the so-called “Grishchenko case”. All that is available is a famous copy of Inna Hryshchenko’s post and some analyzes of telephone traffic, which confirm that the people involved in these cases had no contacts until 2019. 60% of the briefing of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on December 12, 2019 was dedicated to the Hryshchenko case.
  • The prosecutor stated unequivocally that  95 forensic examinations had been conducted in the case. The indictment (section of examination costs) lists 47 examinations, one of which (Antonenko’s main identification) was omitted. That is, the prosecutor lied about 95 examinations, as he presented 48 only. It could be assumed that he also meant examinations in the case of “hirer search”, but there will also be no arithmetic match. 
  • There is no single hint in the case about the search for other motives for the murder and evidence of their exclusion. Therefore, the information voiced in the opening speech is embroidery. There are also unconfirmed words about the titanic door-to-door work, the seizure of video from 227 CCTV cameras from the crime scene, the investigation of millions of calls — all this is absent in the casefile and thus any reference to these circumstances is unacceptable.
  • There is no data from laboratory tests conducted by the FBI, the participation of which was loudly reported by the prosecutor. At the request of the defense, the prosecutor and the court denied the defense access to these materials.
  • The case does not contain all the warrants of the investigating judges to conduct the NSDC [covert search and investigative operations]. Disclosure of relevant rulings to the defense party is possible only if the prosecutor proves that he did everything possible to submit them for inspection in a timely manner. Otherwise, all evidence obtained on the basis of these judgements (and derivatives thereof) on the principle of poisonous tree will be considered inadmissible. In particular, these are Mr. Antonenko’s conversations about “hiding” the mine case, surveillance of persons in order to obtain reference videos, respectively, all further “examinations” and “gait analyzes” have no probative value.
  • There is also some other possible evidence that the prosecutor considers available, but it is missing from the casefile. Probably just forgot to file them, but mentioned in reviews and speeches.

What is in the case of what the prosecutor forgot to mention.

  • The prosecutor forgot to say that there is an opinion of a semantic-linguistic examination in the case, which claims that Yulia Kuzmenko’s conversations are fantasy and she never had any intention of shelling Kyiv or kidnapping someone’s children.
  • The speech did not mention Yulia Kuzmenko’s ex-husband, who confirms her alibi. 
  • The prosecutor ignored the fact that according to the investigation, Antonenko’s phone was located on Starovokzalna Street until 11:24 pm the night before, which is typical of it at night as he lives there. Thus, no emphasis is placed on the fact that the street Starovokzalna 7B, not the street. O. Honchar was the place of permanent residence of Mr. Antonenko. 
  • The prosecutor did not note that at the time of the murder on the morning of July 20, 2016, a person with a print on his back was watching Sheremet’s car (this was recorded in a video submitted by the prosecution), but Antonenko had an alibi at the time.
  • The prosecutor did not indicate that the mine case found on December 13, 2019 near Antonenko’s apartment was seized without a proper warrant of the investigating judge for search, inspection, and temporary seizure of property. There are two retrospective rulings dated 17.12.2019 in the case, but they do not meet the requirements for rulings of this type, issued for the future and not on the basis of an immediate request from the investigator.
  • The prosecutor did not mention the fact that the portrait examination did not recognize Mr. Antonenko and Mrs. Kuzmenko. Ruslan Demyanenko, an expert of the 5th (lowest) qualification class, is the only one who identified Yana Duhar as a “scout”, having previously concluded that the video of the “scout” was unsuitable for comparison. The same expert concluded that measuring the growth of criminals on video is impossible. This conclusion justified Mr. Antonenko’s long imprisonment.
  • The prosecutor did not mention that another person was being prepared for the role of Yana Duhar, whose photos, personal data, video of secret surveillance, phone numbers were filed for unknown reasons, in particular with comparative examinations of height, which completely refute Yana Duhar’s involvement.
  • The prosecutor probably does not know that personal data of public figures who have nothing to do with the case (for example, Serhiy Sternenko or Lenur Islamov) were seized from the telephone traffic available in the pre-trial investigation. This data was allegedly used illegally for felonious information collecting about these individuals. All requests of investigators, decisions of investigating judges and some phone traffic histories are at the disposal of the defense.
  • The materials of the investigation contain 12 conclusions of “psychological examinations”, which were probably not performed, and the invoices of their acceptance are definitely forged. The authors of the forgeries are experts Irkhin and Semenets in collusion with investigator Podoliak.
  • The same experts drew opinions on the psychological identification of the defendants, although Irkhin later said it was not an identification. 
  • In the written and voiced versions of the opening speech, the prosecutor forgot to mention that Mr. Irkhin and Mr. Semenets were disciplined for such identification, and more importantly, neither such identification methods exist nor any of these is under development by now.


Published by: Леонід Маслов

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