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Lawyer of Russian citizen on trial in Ukraine found dead — association of lawyers

A suspect has been detained
Alexander Aleksandrov  Maxim Pab/TASS, archive
Alexander Aleksandrov
© Maxim Pab/TASS, archive

KIEV, March 25. /TASS/. Lawyer Yuri Grabovsky representing the interests of detained Russian citizen Alexander Aleksandrov in a Ukrainian court has been found dead, the association of Ukrainian lawyers said on Friday.

"Today we found out the tragic news. Lawyer Yuri Grabovsky has been found dead. The suspect in this crime has been detained, and we hope that all those involved in the murder of our colleague will be punished," the association said in a statement.

No details where the body was found have been reported.

Grabovsky mysteriously disappeared in early March. His colleagues have established that the lawyer was in Odessa, southern Ukraine, on March 5 and returned to his Kiev office the following day, and no one saw him later. His personal belongings were found in hotel Arcadia in Odessa while a notice on the lawyer’s behalf was posted on his page in a social network saying he had left the country for security reasons.

Police have opened a criminal case under the "premeditated murder" article over Grabovsky’s disappearance. Oksana Sokolovskaya, lawyer for the second detained Russian Yevgeny Yerofeyev, said that Grabovsky’s disappearance was related to the court’s hearings on the case and that the materials on the defense for the Russian nationals in court had disappeared together with Grabovsky.

Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev were captured by Ukraine’s forces on May 16, 2015, in the Lugansk region, in eastern Ukraine. They are accused of illegal border crossing, illegal possession of arms and involvement in terrorist activity.

Kiev claims the detainees are Russian servicemen. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russians "were not active servicemen of Russia’s Armed Forces at the moment of their detention.".