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Ukraine’s prosecutors reluctant to publish causes of death in Odessa tragedy

June 19, 2015, 18:35 UTC+3 ODESSA
48 people were reported dead and over 200 injured in the clashes and in the fire in Odessa Trade Unions House on May 2, 2014
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© Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS

ODESSA, June 19. /TASS/. Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office and bureau of forensic medical examination have come forward against publication of results of forensic examinations on causes of 48 people’s deaths at Odessa’s Trade Unions House on May 2, 2014, a member of the May 2 Group independently looking into the case told reporters on Friday.

"The prosecutor general’s office and the bureau have filed a complaint against the ruling of the Odessa district court that had satisfied the public demand for data publication," Sergey Dibrov said.

In recent months the public have been trying to get access to the data stored at the archive of the bureau of forensic medical examination which can shed light on what exactly caused deaths in the Trade Unions House. However, investigators firmly oppose it citing secrecy of investigation.

"Amid a colossal public response the tragedy provoked, the hush-up of this information cannot be justified by any speculations about the secrecy of investigation," Dibrov said adding that the authorities had deliberately created information vacuum around the investigation.

The city of Odessa saw riots on May 2, 2014, during which Right Sector militants (the movement recognised as an extremist organisation in Russia) and so-called "Maidan self-defence" militants from Kiev set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents had taken shelter, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine's federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian. The attackers did not let anyone leave the burning Trade Unions House building.

48 people were reported dead and over 200 injured in the clashes and in the fire in the Trade Unions House. Some Ukrainian politicians said the death toll had reached 116 but they said the Kiev authorities concealed the facts. Investigators have so far failed to name those guilty of the crime. Alongside law enforcers, two parliamentary commissions also failed to expose those guilty

Along with this, the UN dubbed Ukrainian authorities’ investigation of the killings in Kiev’s Independence Square and Odessa’s Trade Unions House as "inadequate.".

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