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Ukrainian politician: Kiev in no hurry to prosecute those behind 2014 Odessa massacre

September 22, 2015, 16:54 UTC+3 KIEV
Criminal inaction of law enforcement officials demonstrates lack of professionalism or unwillingness to bring to justice those responsible for the tragedy, the leader of Ukrainian Choice movement says
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House of Trade Unions in Odessa set on fire, May 2014

House of Trade Unions in Odessa set on fire, May 2014

© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Borovskiy

KIEV, September 22. /TASS/. Kiev authorities are in no hurry to bring to justice those responsible for the Odessa tragedy of May 2, 2014, as well as for deaths on Kiev’s Maidan Square during anti-government riots, the leader of Ukrainian Choice movement, Viktor Medvedchuk, wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

He said unwillingness of the official Kiev to investigate these crimes was becoming increasingly obvious to the international community. Medvedchuk cited UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, as expressing concern over stalled investigation.

"He said that most evidence in the deaths of more than 100 people in mass riots in central Kiev and 48 people at Odessa’s Trade Unions House had been destroyed," Medvedchuk wrote.

"Criminal inaction of law enforcement officials demonstrates lack of professionalism or unwillingness to bring to justice those responsible for the tragedy," he added.

Odessa massacre

The tragedy at the Odessa House of Trade Unions occurred on May 2, 2014. A sign-up campaign in support of a referendum turned into clashes between nationalist activists of the Right Sector and the Maidan self-defense groups on the one side and federalization supporters on the other side. The clashes resulted in the local House of Trade Unions being set on fire. More than 200 people were injured in the tragedy while 48 lost their lives.

The Administrative Court of Appeal of the Odessa Region in southern Ukraine on September 15 upheld the ruling by the first instance court obligating the authorities to make public the cause of death of 48 people in last year’s massacre.

However, on September 18 UN rapporteur Christof Heyns said most evidence on the Odessa tragedy had been destroyed right after the events.

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