As reported by a correspondent for Censor.NET, before today's hearing of his case by the Appeals Court, Herman told journalists that he had taken out the contract on Babchenko from Moscow. He allegedly passed this information to a certain Dmytro - the person he "knew" was a member of Ukraine’s counterintelligence agency.
However, he failed to recall Dmytro’s second name. Herman said he only knew his call sign was Dietrich.
The suspect had got no evidence that Dmytro worked for counterintelligence agency saying that he was just sure that the latter did.
The defendant claimed that he hired Oleksii Tsymbaliuk to execute the murder but was confident that he would not do it.
"I knew he would murder no one. He is a priest after all!" Herman told reporters but changed his mind in 15 minutes and said: "I did not put a hit [on Babchenko]! I hired him [Tsymbaliuk] to follow Babchenko!"
Herman also claims that he knew in advance that Tsymbaliuk reported to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) about being hired as a contract killer.
"Because Dmytro told me that this priest was a mole!" the suspect said.
Moreover, Herman claims that he actually transferred the money to Tsymbaliuk – first $1,000 and then another $14,000: "But it was not payment for the murder! I lent him money to purchase a car!"
Investigators believe that Viacheslav Pivovarnik, a businessman who lives in Moscow, hired his longtime friend Borys Herman to put up a hit on Babchenko. In turn, Herman hired Tsymbaliuk, a volunteer and priest, to execute a murder. Tsymbaliuk reported to the SBU Security Service that he had been hired to kill the journalist. The SBU carried out a special operation - staged the murder of Babchenko, after which Herman was detained.
Russian writer and war correspondent Arkady Babchenko reportedly died of gunshot wounds to the back after he was attacked entering his apartment in Kyiv’s Dniprovskyi district on May 29.
On May 31, the Shevchenkivskyi district court of Kyiv imposed a 60-day pretrial detention without bail option against Borys Herman suspected of masterminding assassination attempt against Babchenko.
On June 1, Ukraine’s top prosecutor said that Babchenko’s staged assassination helped the investigation obtain a list of 47 individuals who could potentially be put a hit on by the Russian secret services.