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Witness in case of missing editor disappears, newspaper's lawyer locked in his apartment by police

(IMI/IFEX) - A witness in the case of missing editor Vasyl Klymentyev has also gone missing, according to Petro Matvienko, deputy editor-in-chief of "Noviy Stil" newspaper.

Matvienko refused to name the witness in order to avoid compromising the investigation, according to a report released by the UNIAN news agency. He also refused to cite the source for his information but said he had verified it. He said that the disappearance of the witness is the result of the failure of law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties.

The police department in Kharkiv said they had not been informed of the witness's disappearance.

In addition, on 2 September 2010, the police locked "Noviy Stil" lawyer Vyacheslav Ismaylov is his own apartment, as reported by IMI journalist Oleksander Akimenko, from Kharkiv. Matvienko arrived at the apartment at 8 a.m. He said there were three individuals in civilian clothing accompanied by four "Berkut" special police force officers who forced the lock and entered the apartment.

Through the house intercom, Ismaylov said the intruders included Svitlana Loskot, an investigator for the Kharkiv regional police department, who said she was investigating a case involving him. The investigators referred to a judge's order but failed to show the order to either Ismaylov or the journalists present at the scene.

Ismaylov feared the police could plant something in the apartment that would be compromising to him, so he called the Dzerzhynskiy district police in Kharkiv, who came to the scene. Shouting could be heard through the closed door. Ismaylov refused to produce any documents for the police, whose intention was apparently to search the apartment. Ismaylov's wife and son were in the apartment at the time of the incident.


BACKGROUND:

On 12 August at 10:30 p.m. Klymentyev's relatives alerted the police to his disappearance. Klymentyev, the editor-in-chief of "Noviy Stil", went missing on 11 August after he got in a car with an unidentified individual. He has not been seen since. On 15 August, the police started criminal proceedings for "first degree murder" in Klymentyev's case. On 17 August they found the journalist's mobile phone on a boat on the Pechenizhske man-made lake in Kharkiv.

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