Leonid Maslov, Andriy Antonenko’s lawyer, takes issue with the state investigation  misleading  claims in  his statement shared on the Facebook  group #Free Riff

1. The affair of [fabricated indictment of] Antonenko, Dugar, Kuzmenko is a common story. When a few people suffer from the encounter with impotent policemen, ignorant and corrupt prosecutors, court officials and experts, most of us, spared of these trials, fail to relate to it and will hardly take to the streets to protest it. Yet we must do it. The sooner, the better, for law-enforcement, prosecutors’ office, experts and court are degrading themselves very fast. And this time, spraying loud graffiti on the President’s office won’t be of much help to Antonenko, Dugar, and Kuzmenko.

2. We are ‘fortunate’ that the victims [claimed to be the suspects], are unmistakably innocent and deprived of their freedom in an obviously unlawful way. The spectacle Avakov, Ryaboshapka and Zelensky have put up, do us a great service. Suppose those were some unknown average people, would it produce any public outcry, would there be decent resistance? Were it so, frauds and parasites would be awarded for landing the innocent men behind the bars, and this would further embolden them.

3. Let me remind that Antonenko is 10cm’ barefoot’ taller that the described suspect and 2,7cm ‘barefoot’ taller than the expert estimates have for the purported suspect height in shoes. The claim that his gait was similar to the suspect’s comes from the British karate instructor Birch who signed the expertise document in Ukrainian, the language he doesn’t know. The expertise document and its English copy have been sealed from the access, which allows the defense to claim the translation considerably distorted making the Ukrainian [original] text a simple fabrication. The main actors behind the fabrication are Koval, Ruvin, Irhkin, and the police international department officer Maksym Rybachuk, who is not cited in the investigation.

4. From the first days of this affair Avakov and his accomplices have kept articulating misleading information that ranged from detective fantasies to pure fiction. Hardly anything of the things claimed by them on TV, made it into the official case, and this makes it impossible for the defense to handle slander and lies issues. Let me remind you that we have no legal procedures’ opportunity to provide defense à la Gladkovsky in civil action, while in the criminal case we have slander claims coming from the persons of such rank that it can somehow or other influence the judges. Obviously, Avakov, Gerashchenko and their crowd were inspired by Hitler ideas about the making a lie bigger to make people believe it.

5. Here are the examples of such lies:

  • Two cases (blasting electric lines in Kherson oblast and assassination attempt against the criminal gang leader Chekurak in Kosiv) were established by the court to have had no relation to Sheremet murder. They had been cited numerously as the ones that later ‘linked’ the case to Antonenko, while, in reality, he caught the eye of police, much like thousands of others, on the claims that he had been seen around the neighborhood and had been to ATO zone. Period.
  • Antonenko limped neither back then [at the time of the event], nor before his arrest, while Avakov claimed [Antonenko’s] limpy walk resemblance to the one of the alleged suspect’s being most conclusive.
  • Strange mobile phones ‘behavior’ also turned out to be an outright lie that was articulated with the expectation that no-one would contest it, but the court proved the opposite.
  • Since 2006, Antonenko had not been living in Olesya Honchara Street, as Koval and Avakov claimed. During the trial, the prosecutor stated that the suspect’s movement was lost track of near Lviv square, and not in Honchar Street, as they had lied before.
  • Antonenko had no sports jackets with printed logos like the one the assumed suspect [in the video], besides logos were not his “preferred clothing style” and the search at his place found only three such items, with one bought in 2018. Avakov stated that the printed logo at the suspect jacket the back ‘led’ them to Antonenko. And, yes, he [Avakov] was personally leading the investigation.
  • Avakov also lied about the links of the suspects with the SBU and the former having ‘patrons’ there. It was 100% outright lie and there is no evidence of the SBU obstructing the investigation. Some evidence happened to be lost by the police themselves.
  • Antonenko hadn’t had any MON-50 mine that can be ‘lethal for a great number of people’. It was an empty mine case with not a single clamp missing (and such clams were the only thing at the blast site that, [if recovered] could help identify this kind of a mine. If the bomb had been made out of such mine, it would have had to be a different one). Andriy’s claims on where he got it from and that it had no explosives were confirmed. The explosives at the blast cite has not been identified and this is attested by the all the experts, the FBI including. Yet Avakov and Gerashchenko claimed they were the same to the ones used in MON-50 mine. They also span a crazy story about an irregular crack assuming an effort of breaking the mine in two parts, and this would nicely fit the claim that the estimated explosion force was equal to the effect produced by the half of the explosives this mine could bear.
  • Avakov, in all seriousness, claimed that Antonenko had taken photos of all the cars near the site to re-create the exact copies of those cars and arrive unnoticed to the crime scene (his [Avakov’s] alternative version claimed that Antonenko had stayed for a night at the Honchar Street hiding with the latter showing up next morning at Starovokzalna Square.

6. The court improperly rejected the official requests to bring Avakov and his operatives to testify as witnesses and said ‘no’ to consideration of the gait expertise by Birch and FBI expertise on the explosives. The latter came as a shock even to the lawyer of the victim representatives; the prosecutor Tishyn, failing to turn off his microphone, was overheard saying “she will reject’, citing the still-to-be-announced court decision on that request while the judge was in the judge’s private room.