Gay murder case deliberately delayed in Kharkiv – lawyer
The lawyer informs that the court hearing is delayed, while the law enforcement officers do not consider it to be a hate murder.
The law enforcement authorities suspect 17-year-old student of one of the Kharkiv universities of killing of a man, whom he met via social network. However, the victim party believes that the police and prosecutors help another accomplice from a wealthy family to avoid responsibility.
In January 2015, the student inflicted 28 knife wounds to a 26-year-old Kharkiv resident, who had not concealed his affiliation with the LGBT community.
“As the detainee explained, he met the victim via social network, and arranged a meeting. When an offender came to visit a new friend, he deliberately made a row with the owner of an apartment. The young man took a knife, which he had brought, and stabbed the man to death. Afterwards, the murderer seized personal belongings and money of the victim,” first deputy chief of Kharkiv city district police department Oleksandr Nishtyk says.
However, Roman Likhachev, lawyer of the victim party, does not agree with the incriminated articles. He qualifies it as a hate murder and claims that police and investigators help another person to avoid liability.
At the same time, the lawyers of the defendant are trying to prove that it was homicide by negligence.
As lawyer Roman Likhachev said to the Human Rights Information Centre, a number of witnesses was questioned during a previous court hearing.
“We will try to insist on the version that the murder was committed by several people. We have the relevant evidence. In addition, we will summon the police representatives, because I believe they intentionally conceal the fact that several crimes on grounds of hatred toward sexual minorities have been already committed in Kharkiv,” the lawyer notes.
According to him, the homicide was not planned. The perpetrators intended to make a video and then use it to blackmail. However, the conflict went beyond the plan.
The lawyer claims that the court is doing everything possible not to hear the case as the bulk of the motions have been rejected.
“I believe that they try to softpedal the case because some serious people are involved in the murder apart from the person in custody. The events were not planned by a child’s mind,” Roman Likhachev notes.
He also adds that the Ukrainian justice is currently not ready to investigate such hate crimes as it’s easier for investigators to deal with an ordinary murder without aggravating circumstances. The reason for this is not lack of practice, but the elementary reluctance to carry out a comprehensive investigation.