Saturday, 16 March 2013
Ukraine Beheadings: Police Correct Arrest Report
KIEV, Ukraine -- Police in Ukraine say no arrests have been made over the beheading of a judge and his family in December, correcting their earlier statement. They say they are studying evidence on several suspects. One person has been detained over an unrelated drugs crime. Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko earlier said a suspect had been held over Volodymyr Trofymov's murder. He said the judge had been targeted because of his antiques collection and that a suspect was later arrested. The beheadings in eastern Ukraine shocked the whole country. Baffling case The police said on Thursday that they were studying whether items - found during the search of the suspects' apartments - belonged to the judge. According to a report by the ministry in February, drug-dealers in the Kharkiv and neighbouring Donetsk regions were found using the coins as a method of payment. It is believed Mr Trofymov and the three others were each shot in the head, and their heads were then severed and removed by the killer or killers. Judicial sources quoted by local media say the victims were probably beheaded in an attempt to conceal traces of the weapon or weapons used to kill them. However, gunpowder traces were found on the victims' clothing. Mr Trofymov, 58, was well known for collecting rare coins, World War II medals and china statuettes. The crime on 15 December initially baffled investigators, with speculation in the media that it was linked to the judge's work or even that it was a case of ritual murder.