Some representatives of the Ukrainian authorities might have had their hand in the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet to one extent or another, Drew Sullivan, a co-founder of The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) says.
Like the killing of Georgiy Gongadze, Sheremet’s murder seems to have been ‘political’, Sulllivan believes.
“When it comes to [president] Poroshenko – we do not know whether some representative of his administration organised the contract killing, but we believe that certain power brokers have to do with it,” he said in an interview with Ukrainskaya Pravda.
According to Sullivan, Ukrainian authorities do not want to look for answers or publish the information which should be made public.
As reported earlier, on the night before the murder, Ukraine security service officer was seen near Sheremet’s house. That night, an explosive device was planted under the journalist’s car. Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), in turn, reported that Igor Ustimenko spotted there on that night had been dismissed from the Security Service back in 2014.
“It is not clear yet whether Igor [Ustimenko] still works for the SBU or he was fired,” Sullivan stated.
In his opinion, journalists often turn into pawns in political games.
“Of course, the Ukrainian government would be happy to say that it was the work of Russians. Of course, such version exists. But evidence suggests that someone from within the country did it,” Sullivan added.
Pavel Sheremet was killed by a bomb explosion in the center of Kyiv on July 20, 2016. The car he was driving belonged to Alena Prytula — the owner of the Ukrainskaya Pravda online media outlet. Law enforcement bodies of Ukraine believe that Sheremet was killed for his professional activity. The Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the Russian special services may have been involved in the journalist’s death while Moscow called this version a ‘Russophobic act’. Although president Petro Poroshenko declared he took control of the case, the Ukrainian police have so far failed to establish the identity of the criminals who had killed the journalist.