Suspect remanded for allegedly plotting Russian journalist’s murder

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Kiev, June 1 (IANS) A Ukrainian court has remanded a businessman in custody for two months on suspicion of plotting the murder of Russian dissident journalist Arkady Babchenko.

The businessman Borys Herman is alleged to have paid $15,000 to a man for killing Babchenko in Kiev, the BBC reported on Friday.

He said he had no intention of killing the reporter and had co-operated with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

The SBU faked Babchenko’s death on Tuesday, saying this helped to foil a Russian assassination plot.

Pig’s blood and a make-up artist were used to pull off the stunt, the journalist said on Thursday. Babchenko is a former war correspondent who fled Russia in 2017.

He said earlier that Herman, who works for a Ukrainian-German weapons company, had paid out for the assassination once the news of the “killing” had been made public, the BBC reported.

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The unidentified hired hitman had also been part of the elaborate sting operation, the SBU said.

Ukraine has been sharply criticised for the hoax, with critics saying it gives Russia the moral high ground.

Moscow has described Ukraine’s sting operation as an act of provocation.

–IANS

and/ksk

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