Interfax: Russian investigator says Ukrainian tycoon [Ihor Kolomoyskyy] “up to his elbows in blood”

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – July 2, 2014) The Basmannyy court of Moscow on 2 July issued a warrant for the arrest of a Ukrainian billionaire and Dnipropetrovsk Region governor, Ihor Kolomoyskyy, at the request of the Investigations Committee of Russia, Interfax news agency reported the same day. Kolomoyskyy, who resides in Ukraine, is accused of committing four serious crimes. The spokesman of the Investigations Committee, Vladimir Markin, announced that the tycoon was “up to his elbows in blood” and held him responsible for the killing of Russian journalists. The appointed defender of the tycoon said he would appeal against the ruling. At present Kolomoyskyy is on the international wanted list – he was charged in absentia.

Commenting on the ruling by the Basmannyy court, (“Basmanyy justice” has become a byword for rulings by judges who do the authorities’ bidding), the deputy head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional state administration, Borys Filatov, wrote on his Facebook page: “Here is an official comment on the ‘arrest in absentia’. Ihor Valeriyovych [Kolomoyskyy] asked me to tell you that this kind of ‘justice’ – which is described as ‘Basmannyy justice’ even in Russia – does not bother him a bit.”

“Although Kolomoyskyy personally did not squeeze the trigger, did not personally kill peaceful citizens of Donbass or Russian journalists, for a long time he has been up to his elbows in blood and he will sooner or later have to bear full responsibility for all this,” Markin said. He also announced that Kolomoyskyy “will have to answer” for the death of Russian journalists, and citizens of Odessa and Donbass.

Markin also said that documents for the arrest of Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and the leader of the Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aydar, Serhiy Melnychuk (Sergey Melnichuk), will be submitted to the court in the near future.

“At present an investigation is under way within the framework of this criminal case. Over 4,000 people have already been questioned and 2,700 have been recognized as victims. Their testimonies confirm the investigator’s view about the involvement Kolomoyskyy, Avakov and Melnichuk, as well as Ukrainian servicemen, armed members of the Ukrainian National Guard and gunmen of the Right Sector, in these crimes,” Markin announced on 2 July.