Outrage in Ukraine over activist lawyer's slaying
The murder of a lawyer who helped convict her sister's well-connected killer sparked public outrage in Ukraine Tuesday and a warning from the foreign minister that the slaying marked "a challenge to the state".
Lawyer and activist Iryna Nozdrovska spent two years working on the case against Dmytro Rossoshansky -- a Kiev judge's nephew convicted of driving under the influence in the fatal September 2015 car crash.
Rossoshansky was jailed in June 2017 but immediately filed an appeal.
The high-profile case was seen a test of the Ukrainian justice system's ability to fairly prosecute people with links to the upper echelons of power who had seemed untouchable prior to Ukraine's pro-EU revolution in 2014.
"She had succeeded in demonstrating to the court that there was plenty of evidence that Rossoshansky had been under the influence of drugs when he caused the accident," the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group said in a statement.
Rossoshansky was sentenced in June to a seven years behind bars.
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group said Nozdrovska, 38, had received constant threats during the trial "from Rossoshansky himself, and from his mates".
A Kiev court turned down Rossoshansky's appeal last Wednesday and ordered him to remain in a detention centre for another 60 days while the case underwent further hearings.
Kiev police said Nozdrovska was reported missing on Friday and that her body was discovered on Monday.
"Iryna Nozdrovska's body, reportedly naked, was found in a river in the Vyshhorod district near Kiev," the rights group said.
Parliament member Mustafa Nayyem -- a prominent leader of the 2014 street protests that pulled Ukraine out of Russia's orbit -- wrote on Facebook that Rossoshansky's father "warned Irina during (Friday's) hearing: This won't end well for you."
The Kiev region's police chief Dmytro Tsenov denied having received any reports of intimidation or other complains from Nozdrovska.
But more than 100 people rallied outside the Kiev police headquarters shouting "shame" and demanding an impartial investigation into Nozdrovska's death.
Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin underscored the national significance of Nozdrovska death by calling it "a challenge to the state".
This is "a test of our society's ability to protect female activists and to ensure justice as a whole".
© 2018 AFP