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The Shevchenko District Court of Kyiv will begin to re-examine the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet. The case was being tried by a jury, one juror was mobilized and another left Ukraine, triggering a retrial.
A new jury was selected on June 2 and includes one remaining juror from the previous group and one juror who had been among the alternates. The trial proceedings - after three years and multiple delays - are set to start anew.
Belarusian-born Sheremet was blown up in his car in central Kyiv on July 20, 2016. Three suspects in the Sheremet case — Andriy Antonenko, Yulia Kuzmenko and Yana Dugar — were arrested in late 2019. Investigators allege that Antonenko and Kuzmenko placed a bomb under Sheremet’s car, and Dugar was a co-conspirator.
Critics of the investigation see the evidence as very weak. They cite the case hanging principally on evidence provided by 'gait analysis', which cannot be used as primary evidence, according to forensic science guidelines.
In January 2021, Brussels-based English-language publication EU Observer, and the Belarusian People’s Tribunal, an opposition group run by exiled Belarusian police officer Igor Makar, published a recording of alleged Belarusian KGB officials discussing murdering Sheremet. The recording was made in 2012, four years before he was killed in Kyiv.
The re-trial session scheduled for June 23 was postponed because only one out of the three defendants, Yulia Kuzmenko, appeared in court. It was revealed in court that the other defendant, Yana Dugar, is currently attending training.
The new hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.