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Prosecutor's Office: Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky suspected of ordering murder of lawyer in 2003

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 8, 2024 4:52 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian business tycoon and one of Ukraine's most famous billionaires, Ihor Kolomoisky, was arrested with the right to post bail in the amount of half a billion hryvnias after being suspected of fraud at a court hearing in Kyiv on Sept. 2, 2023. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Jailed Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is suspected of ordering the murder of the head of a law firm more than 20 years ago in Crimea, the Prosecutor General's Office reported on May 8.

Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's most infamous business tycoons, was arrested on Sept. 2 for alleged fraud and money laundering related to his oil and gas holdings. He is the wealthiest businessman to have landed behind bars in Ukraine's independent history.

After the law firm's director refused Kolomoisky's demands to annul a decision made at a shareholders' meeting, the oligarch allegedly hired contract killers to assassinate the director, according to the prosecutor's investigation.

The National Police, who say they now have "indisputable evidence" of Kolomoisky's guilt in the case, wrote in a press release that the assassination attempt happened in the Crimean town in Feodosia in August 2003.

Four men who were part of a "criminal gang" attacked the law firm's director, beating him and stabbing him. The director survived the attack after his wife intervened and he received life-saving medical care, according to the police. The men were later arrested and sentenced to prison.

A separate investigation was opened to determine who ordered the director's murder. On May 8, Ukrainian law enforcement officially announced that Kolomoisky was suspected of ordering the assassination. If found guilty, the charges carry a prison sentence of 15 years to life.

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The Shevchenkivskyi district court recently extended Kolomoisky's detention for another two months on Feb. 28 until April 28.

Kolomoisky's bail has changed twice due to the additional criminal charges. On Feb.28, the bail was set at Hr 2.4 billion hryvnias ($60.9 million).

The oligarch, aged 61, has repeatedly complained about his health issues while in detention. His petition to change the terms of his pretrial detention to house arrest due to his health issues was denied last November.

Russian court says it confiscated assets allegedly linked to oligarch Kolomoisky
The court claimed Kolomoisky is a member of the British mining company JKX Oil & Gas Limited, which it labeled as a part of an “extremist group whose actions were clearly anti-Russian in nature.”
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