11 Jan 2019 20:16

Man abducted in Moscow is Vasylenko wanted in Ukraine as part of ex-MP Voronenkov's murder case

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) - Moscow investigators have launched a criminal inquiry into the abduction of a person following a shooting and an abduction of a man near a cafe on Mira Avenue, spokeswoman of the Moscow branch of the Investigative Committee Yulia Ivanova said.

"Following an inquiry, a criminal case was opened under Part 2, Article 126 of the Russian Criminal Code (abduction of a person by a group of people in collusion) and under Part, 1 Article 222 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal circulation of weapons)," Ivanova told Interfax on Friday.

Unidentified attackers fired guns, put a man into the luggage compartment, and escaped near a cafe on Mira Avenue on Thursday evening, she said.

"Investigators have identified the abductee in the course of the investigation of the criminal case. His home was searched, and cartridges, a non-lethal gun, flares, mobile phones, and other things, as well as documents significant to the investigation, were seized," Ivanova said without disclosing the name of the abducted man.

A search is underway for the man and the persons involved in the crimes, Ivanova said.

An informed source has told Interfax that Yuriy Vasylenko, a resident of Ukraine's Kharkiv with dual Russian and Ukrainian citizenship, was abducted.

Law enforcement officers are studying a video from the scene of abduction and 7.62mm casings, which are presumably from the TT pistol seized at the scene of the crime, a source said earlier on Friday.

Meanwhile, Kyiv prosecutors confirmed that they are searching for Kharkiv resident Vasylenko on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a former MP of the Russian State Duma, Denis Voronenkov, in Kyiv on March 23, 2017, but have no information about his possible abduction in Moscow.

"We are really searching for this man in connection with Denis Voronenkov's murder case. But today we do not have official confirmation of the information published in Russian media," spokeswoman of the Kyiv prosecutor's office Nadezhda Maksymets said.

Voronenkov was killed in central Kyiv on March 23, 2017. His killer, Pavlo Parshov, was wounded by Voronenkov's security guard and later died in hospital.

Voronenkov's assassin had an accomplice, Yaroslav Levenets, who has been wanted for economic crimes since 2012. Yaroslav Tarasenko is also suspected of being accomplice in the crime. He was seized on July 16.

Another detainee Los was a co-mastermind of the crime together with Levenets, precisely making arrangements for the murder with two drivers and the killer. Tarasenko was a driver of a Lanos, by which the killer arrived.

In September 2017, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said that the contractor of the murder had been staying in Russia and had been maintaining active contacts with criminals and special services, but "most perpetrators are Ukrainian citizens." It has been reported later that Russian citizen Vladimir Tyurin, the former common-law husband of Voronenkov's widow Maria Maksakova, is suspected of organizing the assassination. He was declared wanted in Ukraine in March 2018.

The pretrial investigation of Voronenkov's murder case was completed in May 2018, and the organizer and five accomplices were named as suspects.

The indictment was submitted to Kyiv's Shevchenkovskiy District Court in the summer of 2018. On August 7, following the preliminary hearing, the court ruled to consider the case by an open-access court of jury.

On October 18, the court began hearing the merits of the criminal case against Tarasenko and Los, who are identified as accomplices in Voronenkov's murder.

On November 13, the Shevchenkovskiy District Court ended reading the indictment against Tarasenko and Los, who are named as accomplices in the murder. The court determined the procedure of looking into evidence as part of the murder case and ruled first to interrogate witnesses and then the aggrieved parties.

In May 2018, Kyiv prosecutors identified Vasylenko as an accomplice in Voronenkov's murder in Kyiv. He has been reported to be in hiding and is wanted.