KIEV, March 23. /TASS/. The Kiev police have opened a criminal case into the murder of former Russian lawmaker Denis Voronenkov, spokesman for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Artyom Shevchenko said on Thursday.
"By now, the Kiev police have entered data into the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations on count of a premediated murder," the spokesman said.
Voronenkov, a former State Duma deputy who emigrated to Ukraine in October 2016, was killed in a shootout near the entrance to the Premier Palace hotel in Kiev on Thursday.
As Kiev police chief Andrei Krishchenko said, the incident occurred at about 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 GMT), when the ex-parliamentarian was walking out of the hotel together with his security guard. At this moment, an unidentified man wearing a balaclava came up to Voronenkov and fired several shots at him from a TT pistol.
After that, the killer and Voronenkov’s guard exchanged fire, after which both were wounded and taken to hospital. According to information of adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister Ilya Kiva, the wounds sustained by the killer and the ex-deputy’s security guard are not life-threatening.
Voronenkov was a member of the Communist faction in the previous, 6th State Duma. In December 2014 Russia’s Investigative Committee asked the State Duma to strip him of immunity in connection with a criminal case over a hostile takeover of a building in the center of Moscow. In April 2015 the Investigative Committee asked the Prosecutor-General’s Office for permission to indict Voronenkov on criminal charges. On February 15, 2017 a decision was made to bring him to justice in the capacity of an accused on falsification and fraud charges.
From February 27, 2017, Voronenkov has been on the international wanted list on the charges of gross fraud.
Moscow’s Basmanny Court sanctioned Voronenkov’s arrest in absentia on March 3. 2017.
As law-enforcement bodies told TASS on Thursday, the criminal case against Voronenkov may be terminated, if an official confirmation of his death is received, and also upon the consent of his relatives.
Late last year Voronenkov emigrated to Kiev where he acquired Ukrainian citizenship.