Ukrainian police chief hires hitman for Austria

Ukrainian police chief hires hitman for Austria
The intended victim was to be shot in the head. Photo: Augustas Didžgalvis
A former Ukrainian police chief goes on trial on Wednesday in Vienna for attempted murder, after he allegedly ordered a Georgian assassin to kill his former business partner in Austria.

The 37-year-old Ukranian businessman, who was associated with the secret Security Service of Ukraine as well as working as a chief of police, allegedly hired the hit man to carry out an execution with a shot to the head of his former Austrian associate.

According to media reports from Austrian state broadcaster ORF, in 2003 a Viennese import-export entrepreneur had conducted shady business transactions with an ethnic Russian partner, which should have earned him commissions of up to €230,000.  

Because the Ukranian business man didn't want to pay the money, his Austrian ex-partner threatened to inform the Ukrainian police about large-scale tax frauds of which he was aware, that would implicate the former police chief.

To prevent this outcome, the accused is alleged to have visited the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in 2004, where he hired a hit man.  He passed on a photograph of the Viennese man, as well as his address, and asked the assassin to kill the target with a head shot.

Instead of carrying out the hit, the alleged killer instead went to the police.  The former Ukrainian cop was then arrested based on an international arrest warrant issued by Austrian justice officials, and brought to Vienna for trial.

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