x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Ukraine jails man for plotting to kill Russian reporter Babchenko

Arkady Babchenko faked his own murder in May

Anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko faked his own death in May. AFP
Anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko faked his own death in May. AFP

Ukraine said on Saturday it had jailed a man who plotted an assassination attempt against a Russian journalist who sparked a worldwide outcry earlier this year by faking his own murder.

Ukraine security chief Vassyl Grytsak said a Kiev court had on Thursday sentenced Borys German, a Ukrainian citizen, to four and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of helping to plot an attempt on the life of anti-Kremlin reporter Arkady Babchenko.

He said that German had pleaded guilty and agreed to co-operate with the investigation.

Kiev sent shock waves through Ukraine and Russia by announcing in May that Mr Babchenko had been shot dead at his home in a contract-style killing.

But at a news conference the next day, Mr Babchenko reappeared in person, stunning the world and sparking anger among journalists and press freedom groups across the globe.

Kiev came under heavy criticism for staging the killing, but insisted that it was the only way to prevent a real assassination.

_______________

Read more:

Opinion: The faked death of Arkady Babchenko was a spectacular own goal for Ukraine

'Dead' anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko appears at news conference

_______________

German, a weapons manufacturer, was arrested in May on suspicion of organising a murder attempt against Mr Babchenko, after allegedly being recruited by Russian secret services.

Oleksiy Tsymbaliuk, a former Orthodox priest who fought against pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east, said he had been approached by German and offered money to kill Mr Babchenko.

Mr Babchenko had left Russia in February 2017 after receiving death threats.

He has contributed to a number of media outlets, including Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and is an avid blogger.

He has accused Russian authorities of killing Kremlin critics and unleashing wars in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

Moscow has angrily denied any accusation of involvement in an assassination plot and said the staging of Mr Babchenko's murder was a "provocation" meant to discredit Russia.