The court sentenced ex-Berkut officer (Berkut special police force violently dispersed protesters during the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv) to nine years behind bars for passing the information about the location, military equipment, and displacement of Ukrainian military to the militants of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, as Izium District Court of Kharkiv region ruled on October 5.
Andriy Mirutenko was found guilty in facilitating the commission of a terrorist act and illegal handling of arms. He faces nine years behind bars without seizure of property.
In 2013-2014 Mirutenko “was performing his functional responsibilities, including during Maidan” as Berkut officer. After the special forces unit was dissolved, he was seconded to the Anti-Terrorist Operation area in Donbas. According to the investigation, he was passing the information about Ukrainian military to the militants.
In particular, in July 2014, in a phone conversation with one of them, Mirutenko told about the arrival of Arsen Avakov, the Internal Minister, and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to the headquarters of the Anti-terrorist operation in Kharkiv region.
Also, the ex-Berkut officer told the militants about the plan of the liberation of Sloviansk, location of ATO headquarters, and military equipment availability on a checkpoint near Sloviansk.
Besides, Mirutenko kept ammunition rounds without permission.
The investigation considered that story of the convicted in Sloviansk could damage the interests of Ukraine, “as the authority and the majority of the militants left the city in time, which helped them to avoid entrapment and capture.”
Miturenko did not admit guilt. At the court session, he stated that he did not know that his interlocutor was involved in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, he found out that Avakov and Poroshenko were arriving from television news, and the equipment he was talking about “was visible” and not hidden.
Mirutenko also stated that he did not know where he got the ammunition rounds. He said that the “prosecution is based on assumptions” and asked to find him not guilty.
He also insisted on questioning of Avakov in the court, yet he did not come by subpoena.
The court took into account that at work Mirutenko was characterized positively, he had rewards, that he is a participant in hostilities and has a spinal disease. Also, he is a correspondent at “Four seasons” magazine (with a higher legal education). He also has an underage child at the expense.
The court sentenced ex-Berkut officer to nine years behind bars, yet he will be under house arrest till the sentence comes into force.