Investigation into the shooting of Maidan activists nearing completion

Investigation into dispersal and shooting of Maidan demonstrators is almost finished
Investigation into dispersal and shooting of Maidan demonstrators is almost finished

The investigation into the case of the organization of the dispersal and shooting of Maidan demonstrators is almost finished, the State Bureau of Investigation or SBI reported on Nov. 21.

Indictments have been sent to court, bureau officials said.

Law enforcement officers accuse high-ranking officials of the time, including then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko, his deputy, and the head of Ukraine’s SBU security service Oleksandr Yakymenko, along with other top officials.

The bureau said that on Feb. 18-20, 2014, the defendants, in violation of the law, made a decision and allowed the use of special means, military equipment, and firearms by law enforcement officers to disperse the demonstrators.

Read also: Former Berkut officer suspected of killing Euromaidan protesters taken into custody

These officials also organized the storming of the Maidan, disguising it as an anti-terrorist operation. On the morning of Feb. 20, they ordered to open fire on the participants of the rally. These actions were committed with abuse of power and without any legal grounds.

Subsequently, the suspects fled the country, so the pre-trial investigation was carried out under a special procedure.

In total, the criminal case combines 1,019 episodes of criminal obstruction of protest actions and has 1,878 volumes of collected materials. This year, there will be 28 indictments against 55 people, according to the SBI.

Soon, 13 former law enforcement officers who were direct executors of the shootings of Maidan activists will be tried en absentia. The bureau has already completed the investigation into them.

Read also: Nearly 10 years after murdering protesters during the Revolution of Dignity, some Berkut riot police found guilty

On Oct. 4, the SBI reported that it had completed the investigation of a large-scale case against Ukraine's former leadership for organizing the dispersal and shooting of demonstrators on Feb. 18-20, 2014. Among the accused are fugitive former President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the security forces.

An indictment against six former Berkut special forces officers who personally participated in the mass shootings of Maidan activists was sent to court on Oct. 13. The defendants are also hiding in Russia.

On Nov. 6, the Office of the General Prosecutor sent an indictment to court against five former Berkut special forces police officers, who are suspected of shooting at participants in the protest actions in Kyiv on Feb. 20, 2014.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine