MOSCOW, November 27 (RAPSI) - The Primorsky District Court of Odessa began hearing the first part of the criminal case on the May 2 riots in Odessa that killed 48 people, Interfax reports on Thursday.

One of the defendants, a Russian citizen, filed a motion to recuse the judges. The judges retreated to rule on the motion.

During the clashes between Ukraine federalization supporters and participants in support of the country’s unity in Odessa on May 2, forty-eight people were killed and over 200 injured. Most of the Antimaidan supporters died in the fire at the Trade Union House.

The investigation found that the mass riots in Odessa were planned in advance.

Several days later, police arrested main defendants in the case as well as some police officers. Former chief of the Interior Ministry’s Odessa Regional Directorate, Dmitriy Fuchedzhi, was put on the wanted list.

On September 25, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced that three people were charged in relation to the Odessa events and Fuchedzhi is on the run. Poroshenko also requested Russia’s assistance in Fuchedzhi’s return to Ukraine to be tried. On the same day, Advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Minister Zorian Shkiryak reported that the ministry’s Chief Investigative Department wrapped up the investigation of the mass riots in Odessa on May 2.