Ukrainian Accused of Acid Attack on Anticorruption Campaigner Kateryna Handziuk Detained in Bulgaria
January 27 (BTA) - At a briefing here on Monday, the prosecuting magistracy said that a Ukrainian national was detained in Bulgaria on January 24. He is on an Interpol Red Notice with charges for an acid attack which caused death of the victim, the chief secretary of the Executive Committee of the Kherson Municipal Council (Southern Ukraine), on July 31, 2018. The detainee is currently banned from leaving Bulgaria, and a procedure for his extradition is to be launched.
According to information published on the website of the Prosecutor General Office of Ukraine on January 24, the detainee is Oleksii Levin, who is suspected of having participated in the acid attack against Kateryna Handziuk.
Handziuk, 33, was known as a vocal critic of corruption in law enforcement agencies. She had campaigned against pro-Russia separatism but had recently shifted her focus to corruption and attacks on civic activists, accusing the police of passiveness in investigations of the attacks.
The Bulgarian Prosecution Office specified at Monday's briefing that the Ukrainian national was not detained upon his entry in Bulgaria through the Dourankoulak border checkpoint, because Interpol's Red Notice was issued at a later date.
The Ukrainian was arrested following the assistance of the Ukrainian services and undercover observations by the Bulgarian police. To avoid detection, he had changed his appearance and gait.
Ahead of his arrest, a Ukrainian delegation led by Ukraine's Deputy Prosecutor General arrived in Bulgaria and held a meeting with Bulgarian Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev, the Bulgarian Prosecution Office said. Geshev invited his Ukrainian counterpart to a meeting aimed at improving the cooperation between the two prosecution services.