Spent 16.5 years behind bars: the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal released a life prisoner

Spent 16.5 years behind bars: the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal released a life prisoner
Spent 16.5 years behind bars: the Vinnytsia Court of Appeal released a life prisoner Ukraine news 24 May 2023 at 13:07

Due to illness, the Vinnytsia Court of Appeals has released Lviv resident Volodymyr Panasenko from life imprisonment and further serving his sentence. He had been in prison for 16 and a half years.

This information was provided to SUSPILNE by the lawyer and daughter of Volodymyr, Tetiana Panasenko. According to her, her father has a severe illness, the specifics of which she does not disclose. He has not acknowledged his guilt for the crime during this time and, if his health allows, he will continue to fight.

Volodymyr Panasenko found himself behind bars in 2006. On November 27th, he was arrested and accused of being the mastermind behind the attempted murder of his business partner, the director of Lviv's "Shuvar" market, Roman Fedishyn. His car was detonated. Fedishyn, at the time, was at a distance and received minor injuries. However, due to the explosion, a passerby, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, was killed. In 2008, the Lviv Oblast Court of Appeals and in 2009, the Supreme Court of Ukraine sentenced Panasenko to life imprisonment.

To prove her father's innocence, Tetiana Panasenko, the daughter of Volodymyr, obtained a legal education.

In 2021, Tetiana submitted a petition to the Vinnytsia City Court for the release of Volodymyr Panasenko from further imprisonment due to illness. In 2022, the court dismissed the petition. An appeal was filed, and on May 23, 2023, the decision was approved.

"I did not acknowledge my guilt for all sixteen and a half years and still don't. I fought for my life and freedom from the first day of my detention. I am very grateful to my family, who waited for me all these years, filled my life, and gave me faith that there are decent people in the world. I also want to thank the Vinnytsia Court of Appeals. There are judges who are guided by the supremacy of law and justice," said Volodymyr Panasenko.

According to Tetiana Panasenko, on May 23, the court restored the violated rights of Volodymyr Panasenko, the main one being the right to life. His health has deteriorated.

"His illness falls into the category of diseases that provide grounds for release—respiratory organ disease with third-stage lung failure. Forensic medical experts emphasized that his condition would deteriorate while in captivity, posing a threat to his life," said Tetiana.

In addition to his daughter, Volodymyr was greeted from prison by his wife Larisa and his first-instance lawyer Alexander Sarafanyuk. He defended Panasenko's rights in court and, with the onset of full-scale war, defended the Motherland. He says that Panasenko's case is unique and so far, it is the only one of its kind in his practice.

During his years of imprisonment, Volodymyr Panasenko's mother passed away, his son got married, and a grandson was born, whom he has not yet seen.


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