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79 injured and 10 taken to hospital after police disperse pro-European riots in Kiev

December 06, 2013, 0:17 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, December 05, 21:54 /ITAR-TASS/. Seventy-nine people were injured when police dispersed pro-European rallies on Kiev’s Independence Square on November 30. Seven of them were taken to hospital. Seven policemen were also injured, Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor Anatoly Pryshko told a briefing in Kiev on Thursday.

A group of 20 people set up under the investigative department of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has been investigating possible power abuses on the part of law enforcers during the riots on November 29-30 since December 2.

Pryshko said that over a hundred people, including policemen, have been questioned and over 40 forensic examinations have been ordered.

“Seventy-nine people who suffered bodily injuries were identified during the pre-trial investigation. Ten people were taken to hospital, two of whom are still undergoing hospital treatment. Seven policemen also had to be taken to hospital with injuries,” the deputy chief prosecutor said.

In the meantime, prosecutors are expected to question Ukraine’s Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko on Friday in connection with possible power abuses by the Berkut riot police unit when dispersing pro-European protests in Kiev, Alexander Kalifitsky, the head of the main investigative department of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, told a briefing on Thursday.

“The interior minister will be questioned by the investigative department without fail. We are currently discussing whether the minister (Vitaly Zakharchenko) should be questioned on Friday as part of a pre-trial investigation when all people are questioned as witnesses,” Kalifitsky went on to say.

The Ukrainian opposition demands that Zakharchenko step down. However, the interior minister said earlier on Thursday that he had no plans to resign. “The court decided to arrest 14 people who broke the law. We have a pool of suspects who will soon be detained,” Zakharchenko said. He added that Dmitry Korchinsky, the leader of the Bratstvo (brotherhood) organization, and other people took an active part in the protest actions,” the interior minister went on to say.

Zakharchenko told a briefing on Thursday that he would get the results of investigation soon. He said he would hand them over to the Prosecutor General’s Office and would wait for its decision.

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