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 Former Berkut officers, accused of execution of 39 Euromaidan activists, face life imprisonment

The jury trial in Sviatoshyn district court of Kyiv will consider the case against former Berkut riot police officers Serhii Zinchenko and Pavlo Abroskin accused of killing of 39 Euromaidan activists.

Presiding judge Serhii Diachuk stated, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

Both defendants applied for jury trial, as both former Berkut officers face life imprisonment.

The court accepted the petition and noted that seven jury men will be determined automatically at the next meeting, and the trial will be held with three main and two spare jurors.

Also, two professional judges will be in the composition of the court considering the case.

Read also: The court arrested former Berkut officer suspected of Maidan execution without bail

All parties of the trial supported the idea to make it public.

At the same time Sviatoshyn district court of Kyiv refused to return the case file against former Berkut riot police officers Serhii Zinchenko and Pavlo Abroskin accused of killing of 39 Euromaidan activists to the prosecutor's office to finalize it.

"This indictment cannot be returned to the prosecutor," Diachuk said.

The defense previously issued an application on the return of the indictment to the prosecutor's office.

The former Berkut officers' lawyers argued that the prosecution committed a number of contradictions in the indictment and there is lack of necessary documents as well as non-specific terms.

The lawyers asked the court to return the indictment to the prosecution for revision.

Read also: Two ex-officers of Berkut arrested in the case of the Maidan activists' execution. 18 more to be included into wanted list soon - Avakov

Judge Diachuk ordered the defendants to put their signatures under the indictments right in the courtroom without delay just after the announcement of the decision on the issue, as they had previously refused to do it.

Earlier, the law enforcement officers detained and the court arrested former Berkut officers Zinchenko and Abroskin as well as their commander Dmytro Sadovnyk in March-April 2014 on suspicion of execution of Euromaidan activists on Instytutska Street in Kyiv Feb. 20, 2014. Former commander of the Berkut detachment Sadovnyk, who was placed under house arrest by the court, had escaped In October. Pechersk district court of Kyiv refused to hear the case against former Berkut officers in February 2015.

 
 
 
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