Ukrainian judge reviewing protesters' cases killed
KIEV, February 12 (RAPSI) - Unknown assailants in the Poltava region of Ukraine have shot the judge who ruled on the arrest motions for the pro-Eurozone protesters, Ukrainian Interior Ministry reports on Wednesday.
The police said that the judge reviewed cases of protesters who stormed the Kremenchug city council building in January.
Alexander Lobodenko, a 34-year-old district court judge, was shot several times in the back by two assailants on a street near his home in central Ukraine late Tuesday night, the country’s Interior Ministry said.
One of the bullets grazed his spine, according to a statement on the Kremenchug district website, and Lobodenko died in intensive care at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Police have opened a criminal case into the death and said that Lobodenko was likely killed as a result of his judicial work. They did not speculate about which of the judge’s decisions may have motivated the attack.
Kiev and other Ukrainian cities have been rocked by mass anti-government street protests since President Viktor Yanukovych backed away from signing a series of agreements with the EU in November in favor of cementing ties with Russia.
Among the protesters’ main demands is a return to the previous version of the constitution enacted in 2004 by then-President Viktor Yushchenko. The amended version, under which some presidential powers were handed over to the parliament and government, was ruled unconstitutional in 2010 during the first year of Yanukovych’s presidency.